Zim 'won't tolerate Maimane's senseless insults' – minister

2017-02-23 12:33
Mmusi Maimane. (Deon Raath, Netwerk24)

Mmusi Maimane. (Deon Raath, Netwerk24)

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Harare – The Zimbabwean government has reportedly slammed Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane for "attacking" President Robert Mugabe and "meddling in the country’s internal affairs".

This came after media reports on Wednesday indicated that Maimane had called on Mugabe, 93, to be forcibly removed from power in the same way that Gambia's former leader Yahya Jammeh was ousted.

"We must stand for democracy. The Zimbabweans won the elections, the opposition won the elections and we (South Africa) negotiated a government of national unity, undermining the will of the people.

"We must do to Zimbabwe what had happened in Gambia, where the Economic Community of West African States troops were deployed, leading to Jammeh leaving the country," Maimane was quoted as saying.

But, according to the state-owned Herald newspaper,  Zimbabwe's information, media and broadcasting service minister, Christopher Mushohwe, said the southern African country would not tolerate such "unprovoked insults".

'Zimbabwe's situation is bad'

"It… comes as no surprise to the government of Zimbabwe that President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, himself a leading proponent of region-wide black economic empowerment, should be the natural target for the white-driven Democratic Alliance, DA and the white-adopted Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF, both of South Africa, and jointly agitating for 'a post liberation era' in southern Africa," Mushohwe was quoted as saying.

Mushohwe claimed that the DA and the EFF were neither democratic nor about economic freedom, but were "an act of political beguilement, calculated to protect a white-led economic status quo targeting those threatening it". 

EFF leader Julius Malema made headlines last month following his  "Grandpa it's enough" comments in which he called on Mugabe to relinquish power.

Malema said at the time that Mugabe was "incapable of discharging his duties" and called on members of the ruling Zanu-PF party to be brave enough to tell the nonagenarian to go.

"Zimbabwe's situation is bad. President Mugabe cannot even control a spade… We are not going to be good friends if we don’t tell them that what they are doing is not good for Zimbabwe’s people," Malema was quoted as saying.

Mugabe has been in power since 1980 when the southern African country attained its independence from colonial Britain.

Read more on:    da  |  eff  |  robert mugabe  |  julius malema  |  mmusi maimane  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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