South Africa: DA Calls for Fresh Elections in Zim, Says Mugabe Must Resign

Photo: The Herald
The army, maintaining a presence in Harare, are calling for peace and calm.
15 November 2017

The Democratic Alliance has called for Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe to resign and the country to hold fresh elections, as the security situation in that country deteriorates.

"This will allow the people of Zimbabwe to choose a new direction for their country, and to free themselves from the tyrannical reign of Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF. True democracy is adhering to the will of the people, not the internal politics and arrangements of liberation movements," DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement on Wednesday.

Maimane said the current instability was a cause for concern for democracy on the continent.

Political tension in the southern African country deteriorated when Mugabe fired his vice president Emmerson Mngangwa last week - amidst a leadership battle within the ruling Zanu-PF.

Mnangagwa's firing followed public attacks by the First Lady Grace Mugabe, who is said to have presidential ambitions to replace Mugabe at the Zanu-PF special congress to be held in December.

Maimane blamed the imploding chaos in Zimbabwe on South Africa's so called "quiet diplomacy" during former president Thabo Mbeki's term.

'The original sin'

Mbeki was the SADC mediator in that country and negotiated a government of national unity that included Morgan Tsvangarai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"While the involvement of the military in politics is never to be celebrated, it must be noted that the original sin in the sad collapse of Zimbabwe was the South African government's failure, under President Mbeki, to stand up for democracy and enforce the results of the 2008 election. Allowing Mr Mugabe to remain in office even after losing an election clearly sowed the seeds for what we are seeing today, Maimane said.

Tsvangarai was said to have won the 2008 elections. A recount and the verification of the results showed that he had won 47.9% of the vote while Mugabe won 43.2%, necessitating a run-off which was to be held 27 June 2008.

Maimane called on International Relations and Co-operations minister Maine Nkoana-Mashabane to brief the country on the nature and extent of the crisis in Zimbabwe and what action government will take.

Earlier President Jacob Zuma who is also the chair of the regional body SADC released a statement calling for restraint and condemning any unconstitutional take over in the country.

"Presidency has called for calm and restraint and has expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes of government as that would be contrary to both SADC and African Union positions," the presidency said.

Zuma said that SADC stood ready to assist in the political impasse currently gripping the country

Source: News24

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