November 19 2017
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. | Photo: Reuters FILE
Grace Mugabe has been expelled from the ZANU-PF party as well.
Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF has removed President Robert Mugabe as head of the party, replacing him with Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had recently been ousted as the country’s vice president. Mugabe remains the president of the country.
Grace Mugabe, the president’s wife, as well as Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Ignatius Chombo and Patrick Zhuwao, Mugabe’s nephew, were expelled from the party.
The meeting, held by ZANU-PF’s Central Committee, the highest decision-making body in the party, comes one day after a march of tens of thousands of people, in favor of ousting the long-serving leader. Protesters waved Zimbabwean flags and hoisted placards with slogans like, “Mugabe Must Rest Now,” and “No to a Mugabe Dynasty.”
However, the army reiterated that their action is “not a coup” and “not against President Mugabe,” but against “criminals” within his sphere and those who support Grace Mugabe’s political ambitions, which splintered the party ahead of its upcoming national congress to select a new leader before planned presidential elections in 2018.
Regarded across Africa and the diaspora as one of the last liberation fighters against European colonialism on the continent, a struggle epitomized in Bob Marley’s song “Zimbabwe,” Mugabe is said to have asked to serve the rest of his presidential term until next year’s elections when he will voluntarily step down. Mugabe made a public appearance days after the army came onto the streets and was seen in photos shaking hands and smiling with the army general who led the military action.
The Zimbabwe parliament
Military leaders are also set to meet with Mugabe later on Sunday, with a Catholic priest expected to mediate between the army and president, who has rejected a deal to step down, CNN reported, citing an official.
The Zimbabwe parliament is set to meet on Tuesday and could vote to start impeachment proceedings against Mugabe.
On Wednesday, the army seized power in the capital, Harare, but denied they had carried out a coup stating they were attempting to strike a deal with the president to resign.
The elder statesman put the African nation into a tailspin after firing his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was tipped as his successor.
Zimbabwe’s Indigenization Minister Patrick Zhuwao said the veteran leader “is willing to die for his principles.” Mugabe has been the elected leader of Zimbabwe for 37 years.
Ousting former president Ian Smith
After having been imprisoned for over a decade by colonial forces, as well as being prohibited from attending the funeral of his three-year-old son, Michael Nhamodzenyika, Mugabe helped lead the Chimurenga Bush War from Mozambique to oust former president Ian Smith and his white minority government.
He’d come under fire for reclaiming land to distribute more equitably among his compatriots. By 2013, despite the British government withholding the white farmer’s compensation package, Mugabe had lived up to his end of the bargain, expropriating or confirming for redistribution most of their land.
The United States imposed a credit freeze on Zimbabwe in 2001. The European Union followed suit in 2002 by imposing sanctions in the form of an asset freeze and travel ban. The measures led to a major trade deficit and adversely affected the country’s healthcare system.redistribution