The end has come for President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, as the ruling Zanu PF party demanded the 93-year-old leader’s resignation. He has until midday on Monday to voluntary resign or face impeachment proceedings.
The Zanu PF leadership said Sunday that Grace Mugabe and associates had taken advantage of Mugabe’s frailty and advanced years “to usurp his powers and to loot the country’s resources,” said The Herald, a state-owned media outlet in Zimbabwe. Their announcement followed a meeting Friday in which leaders of Mugabe’s own party agreed to demand the resignations of both Mugabes.
The reinstated former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been tapped to take Mugabe’s place, the BBC reports. It was the November 6 removal of Mnangagwa by Mugabe for “traits of disloyalty” that proved the catalyst for last week’s military takeover. That action followed a statement from General Constantino Chiwenga, who warned of military intervention over the removal of Mnangagwa, a move widely interpreted as preparing the way for Mugabe’s wife, Grace, to succeed the president. A number of high-level politicians aligned with Grace Mugabe were detained in the immediate hours of the Zimbabwe takeover, which the military repeatedly said was not a coup and did not foreshadow a military government.
Thousands of Zimbabwe’s citizens and their activist leaders, some of whom have waited years to see the end of Mugabe’s detested 37-year rule, celebrated in the streets and attended prayer rallies over the weekend. Some, including the brother of still-missing Zimbabwe human rights activist Itai Dzamara, right, reminded fellow citizens of the price paid by those who preceded this moment. “It’s not yet a new Zimbabwe but we will get there,” said Patson Dzamara.
As with others, though, Dzamara warned that the end of Mugabe’s rule did not mean the battle for a self-determined Zimbabwe was over but is perhaps just beginning – and that beginning is today.
Images: Open Parly ZW, Patson Dzamara