South Africa 'dangerous' for Robert Mugabe and wife Grace

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Former finance minister Tendai Biti said on Thursday that Zimbabwe needed to mend relations with foreign donors to help kickstart an economy critics say was run into the ground by long-time President Robert Mugabe.

Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Jacob Mudenda announced Mr Mugabe's resignation on Tuesday, November 21.

Nieuwkerk said that Mugabe could be hounded for his role in the country's early 1980s Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and parts of Midlands that left at least 20 000 people dead.

"It reflects the importance of Zimbabwe psychologically to the United Kingdom, and the government attempt to show leadership among Western governments in how to respond to the leadership change there", he said. Presidents of Angola and South Africa cancelled a trip to Harare after Mugabe agreed to step down following pressure from the army, his party and ordinary Zimbabweans who flooded the streets. This should assist with the peaceful transition to a new leadership.

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Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International, said: "After more than three decades of violent repression, the way forward for the country is to renounce the abuses of the past and transition into a new era where the rule of law is respected and those who are responsible for injustices are held to account".

Mr Mugabe is expected to attend Friday's inauguration.

Asked if Mugabe and his wife, Grace, should face justice, Johnson says: "That is a decision for the people of Zimbabwe".

Zimbabwean advocacy group, the Election Resource Centre (ERC), on Wednesday welcomed Mugabe's resignation but highlighted the efforts Zimbabweans must make to ensure that a democratic election.

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