JOHANNESBURG, November 21 – Former deputy prime minister of Zimbabwe, Arthur Mutambara, on Tuesday said the pressure on beleaguered 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe to step down must remain inclusive.
It has been a week since the army moved tanks into the capital Harare in a military takeover that was described as corrective action that entailed arresting criminals who they said had surrounded Mugabe.
At the weekend, millions of Zimbabweans at home and abroad took to the streets to demand the end of Mugabe’s rule that has left the country in economic shambles.
“The current struggles must be kept inclusive, beyond, and broader than, ZANU PF. The people who came out on Saturday were not just ZANU PF supporters,” Mutambara said.
He said the massive turnout on Saturday at Zimbabwe Grounds was “a Zimbabwe Moment. It was not about ZANU PF. It was about our country collectively, period”.
The former deputy prime minister is among the many Zimbabweans who have returned home from their diaspora bases to try and steer developments towards democracy.
At the weekend, ZANU PF stalwart and cyber security minister Patrick Chinamasa raised the ire of opposition parties when he declared: “We were correcting our own mess, we have the majority in Parliament, we can expel the President alone and we are the ruling party, so where does a coalition come in? We don’t need them.”
His remarks were in apparent reference to ZANU PF’s announcement that it had removed Mugabe as leader of the party and would impeach him if he refused to step down.
“It is clear that ZANU-PF succession matters triggered the current events, and ZANU PF will try to be the biggest beneficiary. There is need for everyone involved in the current events to be inclusive, magnanimous, and national interest driven,” said Mutambara.
He said while pressure must continue to be applied on Mugabe to step down, alternative voices to ZANU PF must make sure that they influence the content and direction of the unfolding changes in Zimbabwe.
“Their demands and expectations must be formally articulated and adopted by everyone involved in the obtaining situation. Short of this, the Zimbabwe Moment will be a missed opportunity,” added Mutambara.
– African News Agency