The venue, a multi-storied building is famous for its cockerel insigna perched on the rooftop which is synonymous with Zanu-PF party.
The place also teems with war veterans of the country's liberation war against colonials and is a citadel of power- much of what happens in its corridors is amplified in government. Appointments and demotions in government are largely deliberated herewith.
Most government officials who rode high horses under Mugabe's tenure have found solace at this building re-deployed to party business or awaiting a resurrection of waning political fortunes.
The meeting held on a party to party level was largely seen as a game-changer in addressing issues of human rights and an economic implosion playing out in the country.
Nonetheless, it was also a cue for other regional countries to put all hands on deck treating the Zimbabwe situation with the seriousness it deserves.
Zimbabwe has been a leper of the region for far too long. From the late strongman Mugabe to erstwhile Mnangangwa, Zimbabwe' s leaders are known for junketing around the world with a begging bowl for relief aid and investment which in most instances is all a pie in the sky thanks to a mottled human rights record.
Lawyers, opposition figures , activists and journalists have been victims of lawfare meant to make them chicken out of either opposing government policy or shining a spotlight on endemic corruption mostly from your government tenders.
President Munangangwa' s twin sons have been talk of the town having benefited from shaddy coronavirus procument tenders envisaged to help government deal with the global pandemic. The multi million-dollar deal, with all its flaws railroaded into the national treasury with munumental figures and was fronted by Delish Nguwaya who became the 'fall guy' for the first family. He shouldered the blame and dishonor with the case pinned on him to save face for the twins.
Government policy changes wantonly without notice, property rights come in handy selectively for a powerful few and dissenting views on leadership are often squashed in macabre fashion. Life in general is grotesque with professionals naturally downgraded to ferreting for food and basic survival in a hard land with hard men with hard ways.
Not that ANC has become a regional power- mongering and kingmaking outfit, it is simply held in high regard by Zimbabweans and others to give notes and a helping hand to the struggling governing party in Harare. RSA has a better performing economy in SADC and is geographically better placed to be a concerned neighbour.
In fact it is Zimbabwe's major trading partner accounting over 60 percent of Zimbabwean imports.
It is an open secret all is unwell in Zimbabwe. Actually it comes as a surprise that ANC veterans like Head of delegation, firebrand Secretary General Ace Magashule acknowledged the sickening lies that ' there is no crisis' in Zimbabwe.
It is a view that former SA President Thabo Mbeko got a lot of condemnation for when he infamously retorted " there is no crisis Zimbabwe" - a move betrayed by twitching grey eyelashes and a conspiratorial look in his eyes.
He was buddies with Mugabe having lived in Harare in exile. In fact many heavy-weight ANC operatives have Zimbabwean educational qualifications. It like a second home and majority run business that benefit immensely from the chaos in Zimbabwe.
A general stroll in Harare will show most goods in Zimbabwe are manufactured in South Africa. From soap, cooking oil and little trinkets like bubblegum are truck- shipped from over yonder. It is South Africans that smile all the way to the bank at the expense of Zimbabwe business.
Naturally of course, RSA could be shedding crocodile tears. It is a vulture feeding off the Zimbabwean cadaver.
The view that all is well in the country has been amplified by President Munangangwa blaming sanctions as the biggest challenge in the country. It's a blue lie! Leadership is a big challenge. What we have on our hands is a captured leadership where the President himself has his hands literally tied to the mast with no rescue in sight.
Sanctions mostly travel bans, assets freeze and ZIDERA by USA has been slapped on the country owing to bad leadership. It prohibits American businesses to have nothing to do with Zimbabwe because of its dirty hands. It is insolvent and cannot clear arrears owed to Bretton Woods institutions, ie IMF and Word Bank inter alia.
Cartels are running the show for Munangangwa who has been a political apprentice to Mugabe for over 40 years. From grain, medical drugs, transport and fuel, there are privileged and predatory businesspeople fleecing citizens owing to their proximity to power leaving them with no recourse whatsoever.
A case in point is Kudakwashe Tagwirei of Sakunda Holdings who has taken over the fuel sector. Himself a member of the 26- men Presidential Advisory Council( PAC) that plays referee and advisor to the Presidency, he proved to be Munangagwa' s favourite buddy when at a handover ceremony of Covid-19 PPEs and equipment that Sakunda Holdings had sourced from China, Mnangangwa said Tagwirei was the ' Biblical Peter'. He said Jesus Christ had 12 disciples but had one favourite, Peter. That was a pregnant statement coming from citizen number one.
It remains to be seen if Mnangangwa can shake off assertions that Mugabe had seen no leadership qualities in him by snubbing him for a successor thereby pitting him against the political jackals in the party who wrestled for the political bone too.
It is sad the ANC which is fond of rubble- rousing sentiment against millions of Zimbabwean immigrants playing home in RSA is quick to swallow hook, line and sinker the lies spewing forth from Harare. It is largely seen as a smokescreen to catch and deport en-masse Zimbabweans living in RSA, the majority of whom eke out a living in the shadows without proper documentation.
I can't imagine men known to duck and dive hard questions like Gwede Mantashe and Ace Magashule could not take the Zanu PF hawks to task flexing muscles that it was time Zimbabwe got it's house in order.
Post meeting pressers by both parties acknowledged they had frank and candid discussions. My foot! Diplomat etiquette and liberation war ties between the ANC and Zanu- PF says they have to be civil to each other but honestly, who would not wish to have been a fly on the wall in that hall?
Obviously, liberation movements in the SADC region regard ZANU-PF as a big brother for having attained independence earlier, but it should not tongue tie them from shooting from the hip. The truth is alien to Zanu PF and the ANC delegation sipping minerals in unison at Jongwe house not saying the truth about affairs bedevilling Zimbabwe is tantamount to supping with the devil.
South Africa has a lot of jet fuel, having first send a toothless delegation that got overhwelmed by the aura of President Munangangwa. The trip got to naught with little results achieved save for clinching another date with ZANU-PF. It is apparent ZANU-PF hawks are enjoying with gusto the merry-go - round they fully know in advance will be in vain.
It happened before when UN envoy on human rights Anna Tibaijuka visited Harare during the tumultuous Mugabe years. She gave a glowing account before leaving Harare only to reveal information gathered nicodemously from opposition figures.
ANC should demand every political player on the table and not be dictated upon by the rulers of Harare. There are two sides to a coin and what is being force-fed to the public is a dog's breakfast by ZANU- PF to hoodwink everyone.
Prior to the meeting, ZANU-PF functionaries had been on the loose literally frothing at the mouth intimidating the South Africans that they had no business in Zimbabwe other than camaraderie. It is ample proof the party thrives on confrontation than dialogue. ANC came as underdogs in an effort aimed to change the narrative of millions of Zimbabwean lives.
And now, we are left with yet another date for the ANC to meet other stakeholders in the Zimbabwean political chase game.
When Zimbabwe coughs, RSA gets a cold and the ANC should know when supping with the devil, sup with a long spoon. A leadership failure in Zimbabwe haunts South Africa with millions of Zimbabweans seeking refuge at its doorstep. It is much less amusing most especially now in the wake of coronavirus that has eroded many livelihoods straining national treasuries to the limit.
Josiah Mucharowana is a Zimbabwean living in Pretoria. Feedback; email@example.com
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