Army's attempt to remove Mugabe from office not enough – activist

2017-11-15 19:39
Armed soldiers stand on the road leading to President Robert Mugabe's office in Harare. (AP)

Armed soldiers stand on the road leading to President Robert Mugabe's office in Harare. (AP)

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Johannesburg – The Zimbabwean army's attempt to forcefully remove President Robert Mugabe from office is not only unconstitutional but it is also not enough to ensure political freedom, an activist said on Wednesday.

"While this is a good move for the army to try and forcefully remove the Mugabe regime, it is not enough. They want to remove one Zanu-PF member for another," Zimbabwean political and human rights activist Linda Masarira said.

LIVE: Zimbabweans elated but cautious as Mugabe flounders

Speaking from Mutare in Zimbabwe, Masarira said the military was essentially trying to stop a Mugabe dynasty which would have seen Mugabe hand over power over to Grace, his wife.

She said she believed that Mugabe would be forced to step down.

"Now the first family has been placed under house arrest and they are not allowed to leave. We have also heard that some of the ministers have been arrested but we are not sure whether they are under the care of the police or the army."

Masarira said the army's actions were in violation of the country's Constitution.

"This is a violation of section 208 of the Constitution which states that the military should be non-partisan and should not interfere with partisan politics," said Masarira.

Happiness, anxiety

She said the situation was not the best of circumstances for Zimbabwe because it was not in line with the Constitution.

"Ordinarily people must choose their own leader through the ballot box but unfortunately Zanu-PF has a history of rigging the elections.”

ALSO READ: Life carries on as normal in Zimbabwe – citizens

On Wednesday, the situation was relatively peaceful despite soldiers barricading sections of the central business district where most of the government offices, including Parliament and Mugabe's office, are situated.

Masarira said: "Most people are happy about what has been happening but some are anxious."

Despite all the excitement, Masarira said she did not believe there would be any change in the country.

News24 reported earlier that President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as the chair of the Southern African Development Community, had decided to deploy special envoys to Zimbabwe in light of the developments in Zimbabwe.

The diplomatic mission, which will start in Angola, is expected to be led by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Bongani Bongo.

Mugabe and his family have been under military guard while the army took over the state broadcaster earlier, in what many have described as a coup.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  southern africa  |  zimbabwe

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