Zimbabwe is facing a constitutional crisis and Zimbabweans have to hold both President Robert Mugabe and the entire Zimbabwe African People’s Union party accountable.
These are some of the sentiments expressed by various opposition parties in the South African Parliament.
Others want the 93-year-old leader to step down and welcome his imminent impeachment.
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has described the current impasse over the removal of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as a constitutional crisis.
Holomisa says only Zimbabweans can resolve the constitutional crisis which has been created by the various interventions from Zanu-PF and the Zimbabwean Defence Force.
“Given that the soldiers from Zimbabwe have made it clear from the word go that their aim was to deal with the criminals surrounding president Mugabe, unless they come up again publicly to say they want Mugabe to go. The noise which calls for Mugabe to go seems to come from his party and yet he was elected by Zimbabweans. So there is a constitutional crisis which needs Zimbabweans themselves to deal with that matter.”
One of Africa’s oldest liberation movements in South Africa, the Pan Africanist Congress party, is calling on President Robert Mugabe to heed the call of Zanu-PF by stepping down in the interest of stability.
“Initially we thought that this was a coup, but we have realised that Zanu-PF is still in charge and the Defence Force they have also handed over the power to Zanu-PF as the ruling party. We are just hoping that Mugabe will heed the call, more especially after the decision of the central committee, so as the PAC we just support the will of the people of Zimbabwe and we are just hoping that Mugabe will also follow suit just for the sake of peace and stability in Zimbabwe.”
African Christian Democratic Party Leader Kenneth Meshoe shares the sentiments that President Mugabe should step down:
“I think the best thing that Mugabe can do for himself and for the country is to step down and the Central Committee of Zanu-PF has removed him from being the leader, so he is aware that his own party does not want him anymore. The population of Zimbabwe does not want him anymore. The army does not want him anymore. So why is he still clinging to power when the country is saying he must go, so we say the best thing he should do, the expected thing to do from the populace is Mr. Mugabe to step down and say thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead the country.”
Agang in Parliament says the people of Zimbabwe have to hold the entire Zanu-PF accountable and not only its President Robert Mugabe.
Agang parliamentary leader Andries Tlouamma says those who are now calling for Mugabe’s removal in Zanu-PF, formed part of those who de-generated Zimbabwe.
“To me I would have liked if the citizens of Zimbabwe can take over this revolution and hold Zanu-PF and both Robert Mugabe accountable. Robert Mugabe could not have survived for 37 years if it was not for the likes of Mr. Obert Mpofu, Mr. Chinamasa, the General who once claimed that he would never salute Morgan Tsvangarai, so Mugabe is still there because of these people. Because even if he is removed by Zanu-PF, we are still having a problem that these people did respect human rights themselves.”
The National Freedom Party in Parliament says a change in the leadership of Zanu-PF to replace its president does not necessarily bring change in Zimbabwe.
Inkatha Freedom Party MP Achmed Shaik-Emam, who also defended the intervention of Southern African Development Community, says many Zanu-PF leaders who rallied against Mugabe are not innocent:
“Most of these people who want him out have been part of his cabinet for ages, doing exactly the same thing. What makes us believe they are going to do things differently? Maybe with the opposition coming in it might help, but in a nutshell I do think we have a crisis. I know they are complaining about SADC being involved in trying to do them, but SADC has a responsibility all this time to do something. But now the question is why is SADC coming in this eleventh hour? But you are a members state of SADC. SADC has to be coming in the interest of the people, because remember, not every citizen in the country wants Mugabe out. There are those who are still supporting him. There are still thousands of them who are supporting his wife Grace Mugabe.”
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament has welcomed the decision by Zanu-PF to institute an impeachment process to remove President Mugabe saying it was not in favour of military intervention or an attempted coup.
DA spokesperson on International Relations Stevens Mokgalapa says President Mugabe’s decision not to announce his resignation when he addressed the world on TV, was not unexpected:
“It is disappointing for the whole world and for the Zimbabweans but it as expected that it would be like that. That is why we are where we are right now, because of him and his reluctance to step out of office, so the best thing to move forward is to follow the constitutional prescripts of Zimbabwe where it can only be settled through parliamentary processes and we hope that the parliamentary processes will save the day. He must step out of office for the democratic transition to happen in Zimbabwe.”