via Mugabe absence best for coup: Sikhala 18/05/2014 NewZimbabwe
Mugabe’s continued absence is a good opportunity to stage a coup against his 34-year-old regime, abrasive MDC-T politician and former St Mary legislator Job Sikhala said Sunday.
Sikhala told hundreds of party supporters who braved the chilly weather in Harare’s poor neighbourhood of Glen-view that removing Mugabe through constitutional means such as elections had been frustrated by the nonagenarian strongman.
He said the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai could only be installed as the country’s number one through a coup.
“Why must we keep a leader who is surviving on medication? We should just depose him while he is away. He wants to behave like Yasser Arafat (late Palestinian President); to die in office,” Sikhala said
to loud cheers.
“We will not allow that. By the time he comes back from his so-called medical check-up in Singapore, we would have taken power.”
Veteran opposition leader and ex-Premier Tsvangirai did not attend the rally despite having been slotted as the main speaker.
The trade unionist-turned-politician has failed to wrestle power from Mugabe, in power since majority rule from Britain 34 years ago, despite taking part in three successive polls where he has been his main challenger.
Tsvangirai’s latest was in July last year when he was outpolled by the 90-year-old Mugabe in polls which were dismissed as unfair by the West but given a clean bill of health by African observer groups.
His defeat precipitated a leadership fight in the opposition party with party secretary general Tendai Biti and deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma leading internal calls for his stepping down for a new
leader with fresh ideas.
Sikhala accused Mugabe of draining the country’s meagre financial resources due to his medical problems that force him to make frequent visits to the Far East.
He urged Tsvangirai to lead the revolt, describing the embattled opposition leader as “Zimbabwe’s best foot forward”.
“We will remain solidly behind Tsvangirai even if turns 90. I also thought this was a relay but now understand it is a marathon. I had the same funny ideas as Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma but I am back after seeing the light,” he said.
Sikhala ditched his tiny MDC99 a few weeks ago to rejoin a party he co-founded 1999 but abandoned during its 2005 split.
The rouble-rousing former student activist has in the past had several brushes with the law for calling for Mugabe’s ouster.
He credits himself for having urged Tsvangirai to tell Mugabe to “either go peacefully or we will remove you violently”, a statement that saw the opposition leader charged with treason charge 2002.