Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai's MDC Hopeful of a New Dawn for Zim

From left: Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe (file photo).
15 November 2017

Zimbabwe's main opposition party, which reportedly welcomed ousted vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa to join the MDC-T, is confident that the country is on the cusp of a new era, spokesperson Obert Gutu told News24 in a telephonic interview from Zimbabwe.

This comes in the wake of a military takeover forcing President Robert Mugabe to be confined to his home.

Gutu emphasised that the party, led by Morgan Tsvangirai who withdrew from the 2008 presidential vote over violence against his supporters, believes in a constitutional democracy.

However, he said the party was grateful that there has been "no loss of life" as political tensions rise over the leadership of the ruling Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe.

"Our position is very clear, we believe in a constitution. But with the events that are unfolding, we are happy that there has not been any loss of life. We are hoping for a better country," said Gutu before the shaky line cut.

In 2008 Zanu-PF was defeated by the MDC in parliamentary polls, but Tsvangirai withdrew from the second round of the vote.

Mugabe's rule is now being challenged by those within his ranks.

Political upheaval reached boiling point when Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa to favour First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed the veteran 93-year-old.

The sacked VP should consider joining opposition politics, Gutu was quoted as saying by ZimNews, adding that Mnangagwa is welcomed to join the MDC-T.

After fleeing the country, Mnangagwa, who has close ties to the military, vowed to return to lead Zimbabwe.

Subsequently, army chief General Constantino Chiwenga issued a statement demanding an end to purges and warning of military action. Zanu-PF responded by calling his actions "treasonous".

Troops then took control of the state-owned broadcaster and sealed off parliament and the central bank's offices, while armoured vehicles were stationed in the centre of the capital, Harare.

Going after criminals

Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokesperson Major General Sibusiso Moyo said in a televised address that the military action wasn't a coup and was aimed at only "targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes".

The Zimbabwe army's takeover of the state broadcaster and action against some members of President Robert Mugabe's government has been praised as a "bloodless correction" by

The country's war veterans' association, also a staunch Mnangagwa ally, praised the "bloodless correction" by military.

President Jacob Zuma, as chair of the Southern African Development Community, has since decided to deploy a special envoy to Zimbabwe.

Source: News24

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