Thursday 23 November 2017


World leaders yesterday welcomed the Zimbabwean army’s ouster of President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday following days of unrest in a country devastated by economic ruin.
Mugabe tendered his resignation letter on Tuesday, halting an impeachment hearing by a joint sitting of Parliament that had begun against him.

His surprise decision cleared the way for Emmerson Mnangagwa — who Mugabe sacked as his deputy earlier this month in a move that pushed infuriated army chiefs to seize power and force Mugabe’s exit — to succeed him as State and party president. He is due to be sworn-in this week.

In a letter delivered by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Happyton Bonyongwe who is also leader of government business in Parliament and read to the Legislature by Speaker Jacob Mudenda, Mugabe said that the decision was voluntary and that he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power.

Mugabe’s 37-year rule had unsettled most Western States, including the United States, which feared it would embolden other African countries to pursue his anti-Western and nationalist rhetoric, including “indigenisation” policies forcing foreign-owned firms to sell majority stakes to black Zimbabweans and expropriation of land from whites for redistribution to blacks.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the resignation of Mugabe marks a historic moment for Zimbabwe. 

“We congratulate all Zimbabweans who raised their voices and stated peacefully and clearly that the time for change was overdue.

“Zimbabwe has an extraordinary opportunity to set itself on a new path,” Nauert said.
“The United States strongly supports a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous Zimbabwe.  As events unfold, we continue to call on all parties to exercise restraint and respect constitutional and civilian order.

“We urge Zimbabwe’s leaders to implement much-needed political and economic reforms for a more stable and promising future for the Zimbabwean people.

“We will continue to support the people of Zimbabwe as these reforms move forward.”
Zimbabwe’s former coloniser, Britain, also welcomed the change in Zimbabwe.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Mugabe’s resignation was “an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule.”

“In recent days we have seen the desire of the Zimbabwean people for free and fair elections and the opportunity to rebuild the country’s economy under a legitimate government,” she said in a statement

“As Zimbabwe’s oldest friend, we will do all we can to support this, working with our international and regional partners to help the country achieve the brighter future it so deserves.”

European Union Foreign Affairs chief Federica Mogherini said Mugabe’s decision to stand down “shows that he has listened to the people’s voices.”

“An orderly and irreversible transition towards genuinely democratic elections is our shared objective.

“The consolidation of the constitutional order and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms are key,” she said.

“It is important now that an inclusive dialogue is established that respects the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe for a more prosperous and democratic future, and which encourages the acceleration of key reforms.

“The EU stands ready to accompany this process in cooperation with the African Union and Sadc, and to assist the Zimbabwean people with all instruments at its disposal in order to meet that objective.”

Guinean President Alpha Conde, the current president of the African Union, said it was a shame that Mugabe is leaving through loss of domestic support.

“It is a shame that he is leaving through the back door and that he is forsaken by the Parliament,” Conde said.

South African President Jacob Zuma,  in his capacity as chair of the Sadc and his Angolan counterpart, Joao Lourenco, who were due to arrive in Zimbabwe yesterday,  postponed the visit to until “further notice”.

“President Zuma will no longer travel to Harare in the Republic of Zimbabwe on Wednesday November 22, 2017‚” the SA presidency said in a statement.

“The Sadc Organ Troika Plus Sadc chairperson Summit that met in Angola (on Tuesday) had taken a decision that the Sadc chairperson‚ Zuma and the chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics‚ Defence and Security Cooperation‚ President ...Lourenco should travel to Zimbabwe to assess the situation on behalf of Sadc.”

South African opposition parties welcomed Mugabe’s resignation.
“Once a liberator of his people, Mugabe brought division, instability, and economic ruin to Zimbabwe as he made the unfortunate transition from liberator to dictator,” Mmusi  Maimane’s opposition Democratic Alliance said in a statement, urging free and fair elections.

Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters said: “We call on the people of the world to accept the settlement reached by Mugabe and Zanu PF which includes full immunity for him and his family.

“We call on Zimbabweans never to undo the land reform programme or return the land to the white settler communities.

“This is one legacy of Mugabe that must be advanced and protected at all costs.”
The innovative Nandos marketing team, never shy to jump at any opportunity to sell quickly, came up with a quirky political ad, with a punch line: “That’s a wrap. Farewell to the king of takeaway.” Daily News


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