By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
17 April 2014
A meeting between Robert Mugabe and former South African President Thabo Mbeki in Harare this week has raised eyebrows, with questions being asked about the purpose of his visit.
Mbeki reportedly met Mugabe on Wednesday in Harare. According to the state run Herald newspaper, the two leaders exchanged views on “various matters affecting the African continent.”
The former South African leader is known to be a long standing fan and friend of Mugabe’s, to the point that he crafted the flawed unity government arrangement that allowed Mugabe to stay in power after the 2008 elections.
That unity arrangement has been widely deemed a failure, with no meaningful reforms being achieved in Zimbabwe since.
Mbeki, who passed his mediation role on to his successor Jacob Zuma, meanwhile has been repeatedly criticised for taking too soft an approach to various political crises in Africa. Regardless of this, he has been called on by the African Union to mediate other conflicts, such as in South Sudan and the Ivory Coast.
Exiled Zimbabwean journalist Tanonoka Whande said on Thursday that it is insulting to Zimbabweans.
“It is unacceptable that Mbeki, the architect of the downfall in Zimbabwe, has now returned to the scene of the crime,” Whande told SW Radio Africa.
He said Mbeki’s failed role in mediating any meaningful solutions to African problems shows the failure of African policy.
“After he failed to do any successful mediation in Zimbabwe, the African Union appointed him to mediate elsewhere in Africa. What is it they look for in trying to solve problems? Is their mission to create problems for Africa?” Whande questioned.
He added: “It all has to do with rewarding failure. The good people in Africa are reviled, but the architects of the destruction of Africa are given standing ovations.”