Former Energy Minister and 2018 presidential hopeful Elton Mangoma has endorsed former President Robert Mugabe's shock ouster by the military but slammed his predecessor Emmerson Mnangagwa for celebrating the "tyrant".
Mangoma, who is Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) leader and presidential candidate for the six-party Coalition of Democrats (Code), was speaking to New Zimbabwe this week.
The military two weeks ago staged a dramatic seizure of government and moved to put Mugabe under house arrest saying they were "targeting criminals around" him.
Behind the scenes, the army demanded Mugabe's exit to make way for vice Emmerson Mnangagwa whom he had sacked from government a week before.
Mugabe eventually tendered his resignation under pressure, after putting up a struggle to stay.
But Mangoma felt the incident was far from being a coup as alleged in some quarters.
"As far as we are concerned, it was not a coup because if it was a coup, the army would have been there themselves and would have thrown away the Constitution.
"But what they have simply done is that they have become involved the Zanu PF's political dispute which we certainly do not condone at all but we celebrate that Mugabe has gone," Mangoma said.
Mangoma urged Zimbabwe's new State leader not to be pre-occupied with attempts to preserve President Mugabe's legacy at the expense of his own.
"For now we have not seen anything that is different because the first thing he has done is to firmly put Mugabe's legacy back on the map by declaring his birthday as a holiday," Mangoma said.
"So to us, it's the same system of celebrating tyranny, of insensitivity and not caring what people think.
"I think people poured onto the streets because they were unhappy with Mugabe. So you can't make them happy by declaring a holiday the next day in the name of the same tyrant."
As Code presidential candidate, Mangoma is head of a cast of politicians who lead six different political parties, among them former cabinet ministers Dumiso Dabengwa and Simba Makoni.
He is adamant the coalition would romp to victory next year saying that they are pushing policies that concern the livelihoods of the majority.