SELF-EXILED secessionist Matabeleland Liberation Organisation (MLO) leader, Paul Siwela, has welcomed the military move to oust President Mugabe saying the long-time ruler caused untold suffering to his own people during his 37- year-long rule.
Siwela was hounded out of the country in 2013 after he was slapped with treason charges on allegations of wanting to overthrow Mugabe's government.
Speaking from his base in exile, Siwela said he was still bitter with Mugabe for chasing him out of the country.
"Firstly, I need to register my anger against the Robert Mugabe regime which persecuted and hounded me out of the country for my political beliefs in the establishment of a separate state of Matebeleland which I remain committed to up to date. Matebeleland deserves to be an independent and sovereign state," said Siwela.
He said he was against the military involvement in the ruling party politics.
"I am strongly opposed to the military coup to settle factional differences in a political party and more so with the aim to impose Emmerson Mnangagwa as the new President.
Emmerson Mnangagwa cannot be a president as he is still dripping the blood of Matebele genocide. He has to be stopped and I call upon all progressive forces to join us and prevent this genocidaire from taking power," he charged.
Mnangagwa, who was fired by President Mugabe from both the government and the ruling party, is reportedly in South Africa after skipping the country.
Recent events, with the army taking over the running of the country from Mugabe, suggest Mnangagwa might be back in government taking over the reins.
However, his ascendancy to the country's highest office might not be met with wild celebrations from the Matabeleland region as Mnangagwa is implicated in the Gukurahundi genocide that claimed more 20 000 innocent lives in the 1980s.
He has since denied any involvement in the atrocities.
"It will not be easy for him to be accepted, he must work hard to win the trust of the people especially the victims of the genocide.