OPPOSITION parties have said it is up to Zimbabwe’s ordinary citizens to initiate President Robert Mugabe’s prosecution for crimes committed during his long and repressive rule.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The Zanu PF central committee on Sunday recalled Mugabe, and expelled his wife Grace and several party members belonging to the G40 faction accusing them of being divisive and promoting hate speech.
Opposition parties said Mugabe could face criminal charges after he vacates office, but emphasised that the decision rested with ordinary Zimbabweans.
“Mugabe committed a lot of atrocities during his long and repressive rule. The people of Zimbabwe cannot easily forget the Gukurahundi genocide of the early to mid-1980s, as well as the Murambatsvina campaign of May/June 2005,” MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said.
“The MDC is not a vindictive political party, but all the same, we don’t subscribe to impunity and unaccountability. There has to be closure to all these very unfortunate incidents of our post-independence history. The victims also need closure so that they can get on with their lives in peace.
“It’s up to the people of Zimbabwe to decide what Mugabe and his garrulous wife should do in order to repair the monumental damage and suffering that they caused to the toiling masses of Zimbabwe. We don’t call for retribution, but we are certainly calling for truth and reconciliation as well as justice.”
Criminal charges also await the fired G40 members as the army accuses them of corruption and reversing the gains of the liberation struggle.
Zapu deputy spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa weighed in saying: “We believe the people will make the right decision concerning the issue of Mugabe’s immunity.
“Zapu as a party cannot preemptively make suggestions concerning immunity of Mugabe and wife after office. We believe in people rule and as such, it is all up to the people to decide whether the couple gets immunity or not.
“We are, however, alive to the legal, constitutional and global dictates around the contentious issue. As such, we leave it all to the people, especially those Mugabe violated during his unnecessarily long rule. Zapu will follow what they say,” Maphosa said.
PDP secretary-general Gorden Moyo said the opposition party believed Mugabe and several others must be charged for crimes against humanity, but expressed doubt that incoming Zanu PF leader and former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa would allow that “as they are accomplices in all his crimes”.
“The fate of all thieves, murderers and criminals must be determined by the courts of law. That includes Mugabe. The veneer of immunity which covers Mugabe as a Head of State will melt as soon as he is dethroned. But I don’t see him being dragged to the courts because both G40 and Lacoste are his accomplices in all his crimes,” he said.