Mugabe’s resignation the first step - Mmusi Maimane

DA leader says President's resignation not the silver bullet that will fix the country

Robert Mugabe’s resignation the first step towards a new beginning for Zimbabwe

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the decision by Robert Mugabe to resign as President of Zimbabwe after 37 years in power. This is a victory for the people of Zimbabwe who have suffered greatly under the latter years of Mugabe’s reign.

The story of Robert Mugabe is not a unique one, and is all too familiar on our continent. A once liberator of his people, Mugabe brought division, instability, and economic ruin to Zimbabwe as he made the unfortunate transition from liberator to dictator.

While Mugabe’s resignation is the first step towards a new beginning for Zimbabwe, it is not the silver bullet that will fix the country. Mugabe may be gone, but the ruling ZANU-PF remains.

As is the case with liberation movements across the continent, ZANU-PF has become nothing more than a patronage network engulfed in fighting over access to power and state resources for those who are politically connected. Moreover, it is clear from the tense situation over the past few days that this was not a voluntary relinquishing of power by Mugabe, but a forced one.

ZANU-PF is complicit in each and every ill committed by the Mugabe regime, and as such cannot be trusted to bring a new beginning to Zimbabwe. History has taught us that failed liberation movements cannot and will not self-correct. The solution has to come from outside these movements

Therefore we maintain that a fresh mandate is required from the electorate, and the people of Zimbabwe must be given the opportunity to go to the polls and elect a new President. The only way forward for Zimbabwe is for fresh elections to be held immediately.

As Chairperson of the Southern African Partnership for Democratic Change (SAPDC), I have engaged with the opposition in Zimbabwe on a number of occasions, and it is clear that the only way forward is for free and fair elections to be held as soon as possible.

We call on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to take the lead in ensuring an interim government is put in place, and that elections are held as soon as possible.

Today the will of the Zimbabwean people has prevailed as Robert Mugabe is no longer President of their country. It is now time for the Zimbabwean people to decide who ought to replace him as President, and for an election to be held at once.

Statement issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 21 November 2017