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EFF: Mugabe axing long overdue

The party’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu says that the Zanu-PF central committee has saved Zimbabwe from further degeneration.

A screengrab shows Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (2R) as he poses alongside Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga (R) and South African envoys at State House in Harare. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has welcomed the decision by Zanu-PF to remove Robert Mugabe as leader of the party, saying the decision was long overdue.

The party’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu says that the Zanu-PF central committee has saved Zimbabwe from further degeneration.

“No human being, no single individual must impose himself over the will of the people because at some stage what you think is your powerbase might shift and you’re going to lose power in a manner that’s not desirable.”

The 93-year-old was widely expected to resign during a televised address on Sunday night but chose to focus on calls for unity.

On Sunday, Zanu-PF leaders announced a decision to sack Mugabe as party leader and gave him a deadline to resign by noon on Monday or face impeachment.

But the elderly statesman has shown no interest in quitting and is in fact preparing to preside over next month’s Zanu-PF congress.

In his address, Mugabe said that the upcoming party congress will come up with a clear roadmap to solve once and for all any ommissions or contradictions that have negatively affected Zanu-PF.

"Indeed, all these matters will be discussed and settled at the forthcoming congress."

Mugabe has described the current state of the economy in Zimbabwe as going through a difficult patch.

But his party's Christopher Mutsvangwa believes otherwise, blaming the 93-year-old leader for the demise of the economy.

"He's thrown this country into a comatose state. We have an economy that has been utterly destroyed, worse than it has gone through a war because of the dereliction of duty. There is not an iota of understanding of how a modern economy works."

Zanu-PF has given Mugabe until midday on Monday to resign, failing which they will begin the process to impeach him.

Two sources, one a senior member of the government, the other familiar with talks with leaders of the military, had told Reuters that Mugabe would use the address to announce his resignation after Zanu-PF earlier sacked him as its leader in a step precipitated by an army takeover four days earlier.

But in the speech from his official residence, sitting alongside a row of generals, Mugabe acknowledged criticisms from Zanu-PF, the military and the public, but made no mention of his own position, instead pledging to preside over the Zanu-PF congress scheduled for next month.

AMEND CONSTITUTION

The Zanu-PF said it wants to amend its constitution to remove "the notion of one centre of power" following the removal of Mugabe as leader of the party.

He has ruled the country for 37 years now.

Axed vice president Emmerson Mnagagwa was elected as interim leader of the party during a special central meeting in Harare on Sunday afternoon.

Mugabe's wife, Grace, who was head of the party's women's league has also been expelled for promoting hate speech and decisiveness.

Thousands of residents took to the streets in the country on Saturday, calling for the 93-year-old to relinquish power.

Last week, the army took control of government demanding that the embattled president to step down.

Zanu-PF’s Patrick Chinamasa could hardly finish his announcements as celebrations broke when he declared the official axing of Mugabe as party leader.

"Mugabe is hereby recalled from the position of president and first secretary of Zanu-PF."

Mugabe has been given just under 24 hours to resign as the country’s president.

"And if his resignation has not been tendered by midday of 20 November 2017, the Zanu-PF chief whip is ordered to institute proceeding for the recall of the president."

The party has also effectively decided to reinstate fired vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa as party leader and interim president of the country.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's former finance minister Tendai Biti has welcomed the removal of mugabe as party leader.

Biti said that steps must be taken to oust him as the country's president.

"It means nothing constitutionally because there are challenge is to remove him as head of state. So they can remove him from Zanu-PF but it doesn't mean that he is removed as the president of this country."

This Flag leader Evan Mawarire said the country needs new leadership.

"And part of what the church is calling for in Zimbabwe, is an inclusive transition government, so even if they are being handed over to someone who comes from the same stable, we are asking that at this time we build something that includes everyone, that has everyone's input, not just them."

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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