FORMER president Cde Robert Mugabe was not removed from office by the army but he was pressured to resign by Zanu-PF, a senior party official has said.
Addressing scores of supporters at Nemamwa in Masvingo West on Saturday, Masvingo Senator Cde Clemence Makwarimba said the former president had been surrounded by “rogue elements” in the form of members of the G40 cabal.
This, he said, prompted the army to launch Operation Restore Legacy but the party remained responsible in pushing Cde Mugabe out of power.
“There are some people who are lying that Cde Mugabe was removed from power by the army. It is the Zanu-PF Central Committee, which dismissed him as leader of the party,” said Cde Makwarimba.
He said there was no way Cde Mugabe was going to withstand the pressure that the people of Zimbabwe had mounted on him, led by war veterans.
“The war veterans called for a solidarity march and you saw that there was a sea of people in Harare in November last year. The people from all walks of life, even threatened to go to Cde Mugabe’s blue roof residence as his resignation took long.
“After Zanu-PF Central Committee had dismissed him from the party, we then decided to move a step further and remove him as Head of State. We then teamed up as parliamentarians from MDC-T and Zanu-PF to do the process of impeaching him,” he said.
The former President, then wrote a letter to the Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda announcing his resignation and Parliament could not progress with the process of impeachment.
Cde Makwarimba said a majority of legislators wanted Cde Mugabe to leave office as soon as possible and they had unanimously agreed. He said the problem with Cde Mugabe was that he had allowed his powers to be usurped by his wife, Grace, who was also dismissed from the party.
This comes amid reports that Mugabe told African Union Commission (AU) chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at his “Blue Roof” mansion last week that he was forced to resign under military pressure.
“I was pressured by the army to resign; I did so in order to avoid conflict and bloodshed in my country. I was worried because it had been brought to my attention that people had been intimidated, illegally seized, attacked, homes had been raided at gunpoint and destroyed, and weapons confiscated from other state security agencies,” Mugabe said.
Speaking at the same event Zanu-PF provincial chairman Cde Ezra Chadzamira called on women in the party not to behave like the former First Lady.
“Cde Mugabe did a lot for us until he was surrounded by criminals in the form of G40 cabal members. His wife proved to be a destructive woman and I do not expect Zanu-PF women here to be like her. She wanted to impose herself as Vice President of this country then President later and you saw how our President Emmerson Mnangagwa was humiliated and subsequently fired from his post as Vice President,” said Cde Chadzamira.
He called for members to vote resoundingly for President Mnangagwa in the harmonised elections expected sometime in July this year.