22 November 2017

South Africa: President Zuma Postpones Zimbabwe Trip

Photo: Tendai Biti
Thousands of Zimbabweans march through Harare (file photo).

President Jacob Zuma has postponed his trip to Harare, Zimbabwe, until further notice.

The President was due to travel to the Zimbabwean capital on Wednesday, 22 November 2017.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ Troika that met in Angola on Tuesday had taken a decision that the SADC Chairperson, President Zuma and the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, President Joao Lourenco of Angola, should travel to Zimbabwe to assess the situation on behalf of SADC.

The postponement comes amid Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's resignation on Tuesday evening.

The 93-year-old's resignation was announced by Jacob Mudendahe, the Zimbabwean Parliament Speaker, who said he received a letter from Robert Mugabe that read that the President is resigning.

In the letter, President Mugabe said that he decided to step down to allow for the smooth transition of power in the country.

"In terms of the provisions of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe, amendment number 20, 2013.

"Following my verbal communication with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda at 13:53 hours, 21st November, 2017 intimating my intention to resign as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect.

"My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability.

"Kindly give public notice of my resignation as soon as possible as required by section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe," Robert Mugabe said.

On Sunday, Zimbabwe's ruling party announced that President Mugabe had been removed from his position as President and first secretary of the ZANU PF by a unanimous vote at a Central Committee Special Session in Harare. The party said he had been given until midday on Monday to resign from his position as Head of State.

President Zuma had earlier stated that the SADC region is committed to providing support to the people of Zimbabwe to resolve the political situation.

"A stable and peaceful SADC region is in our best interest and Zimbabwe is a critical member of our regional community," said President Zuma.

The visit has now been postponed until further notice. - SAnews.gov.za-Sputnik

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