SA opposition parties welcomes Mugabe's resignation

2017-11-21 19:53

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Cape Town – South African opposition parties on Tuesday evening welcomed the resignation of Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwean president.

Hailing the resignation as a victory for the Zimbabwean people, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane lamented that Mugabe's Zanu-PF party remained in power.

"The story of Robert Mugabe is not a unique one and is all too familiar on our continent. A once liberator of his people, Mugabe brought division, instability, and economic ruin to Zimbabwe as he made the unfortunate transition from liberator to dictator," Maimane said in a statement released shortly after the news broke.

From liberator to dictator

"While Mugabe’s resignation is the first step towards a new beginning for Zimbabwe, it is not the silver bullet that will fix the country. Mugabe may be gone, but the ruling Zanu-PF remains."

"As is the case with liberation movements across the continent, Zanu-PF has become nothing more than a patronage network engulfed in fighting over access to power and state resources for those who are politically connected."

Maimane said it was clear, from the "tense situation over the past few days", that Mugabe did not voluntarily relinquish his power but that he was forced.

WATCH: Zimbabwe in pictures: Northern neighbours overjoyed and celebrations are just getting started

"Zanu-PF is complicit in each and every ill committed by the Mugabe regime and, as such, cannot be trusted to bring a new beginning to Zimbabwe."

Maimane called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to take the lead in ensuring an interim government is put in place and that elections are held as soon as possible.

"It is now time for the Zimbabwean people to decide who ought to replace him as president and for an election to be held at once."

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) called on people to accept the settlement reached by Mugabe and Zanu-PF, which was said to include full immunity for him and his family. 

'Perfect outcome for peace and stability'

"This is a perfect outcome for peace and stability in Zimbabwe which will allow Zimbabweans to define a post-Mugabe era," EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.

The EFF also called on Zimbabweans not to undo their land programme "or return the land to the white settler communities".

"This is one legacy of President Mugabe that must be advanced and protected at all costs. We say this because we know that some celebrate the resignation of President Mugabe with the hope that this important revolutionary gain will be undermined. It is the obligation of all pan-Africanists to protect all the gains of decolonisation in Zimbabwe."

"The EFF is proud of Zimbabwe because, as a people, in their own way they managed to redefine a new chapter for themselves. The path they took did not have a prescript in any political history in the world. No military in human history has managed to ensure the facilitation of the removal of a president without any spill of blood, while respecting all democratic processes and institutions," said Ndlozi.

"Long Live Zimbabwe!" 

Zimbabweans celebrate after hearing the news that President Robert Mugabe had resigned. (Ben Curtis/AP)

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said in a statement that the party "rejoices with the people of Zimbabwe - at least to the extent that it has been a bloodless departure".

"However, Zimbabwe remains far from uhuru (free)," he said.  

He said the abuse of human rights by Mugabe and his regime remained an outstanding issue.

"This is a matter that only the people of Zimbabwe can deal with within the dictates of their national constitution." 

'Rocked by the emancipatory events'

"Of critical importance is a return to multi-party democracy, constitutionalism and concerted efforts to reignite the economy and to clamp down on institutionalised corruption."

He said Southern Africa has undoubtedly been rocked by the "emancipatory events" of the last few days. 

"There are stark lessons to learn for those that have dictatorial, dynasty, non-democratic and corrupt tendencies," he said.

"There are many lessons for South Africa to take to heart from the rise and fall of Mugabe."

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  south africa

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