Zim VP Chiwenga 'must be fired', says British lawmaker

2018-08-10 19:00
Zimbabwe’s vice president General Constantino Chiwenga (File, AFP)

Zimbabwe’s vice president General Constantino Chiwenga (File, AFP)

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A United Kingdom lawmaker has reportedly said that Zimbabwean Deputy President Constantino Chiwenga "must be fired" after a deadly military crackdown on opposition supporters protesting against "fraudulent" poll results.

Last week, six people died after troops in the capital Harare opened fire at protests against alleged election fraud, sparking an international outcry and raising grim memories of the Robert Mugabe era, reported AP.

The deadly post-election crackdown has raised questions over who could have ordered the army on to the streets and who was really running the government as the country held what has been described as its most important election in decades.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, following the killings by suspected soldiers, focus shifted to the country's deputy president who was seen as a power broker.

Opposition detractors described the former military chief as the real power in Harare while Mnangagwa was "a civilian face of what was effectively a military junta". 

'Deeply concerned'

Writing on her Twitter account, UK lawmaker, Kate Hoey, seemed to have also largely placed the blame on Chiwenga, saying the former military boss should be fired before the west could shift its policies against Zimbabwe.

Hoey's remarks came after Britain's minister for Africa Harriet Baldwin and the United States embassy in Harare expressed concern over the deadly military crackdown on opposition supporters, AP reported.

Baldwin reportedly said that she was "deeply concerned" about the deadly violence in Zimbabwe's capital and she called on political leaders to ensure calm and restraint "at this critical moment". 

Her statement on Twitter on August 1 also urges British citizens in Zimbabwe to check for travel alerts on the changing situation.

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