Prosper Ndlovu recently in MAPUTO, Mozambique
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said the military intervention under “Operation Restore Legacy”, which ushered in a new political dispensation, was in line with the constitutional mandate of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).
Briefing the Zimbabwean community in Mozambique on Wednesday about political developments that saw him coming to power following the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe two months ago, President Mnangagwa said the G40 cabal had created a constitutional crisis in the country, taking advantage of their proximity to the then First Family via the former First Lady, Grace Mugabe.
He said the situation had deteriorated to the extent that the G40 cabal, fronted mainly by former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Mrs Mugabe, Saviour Kasukuwere, Ignatius Chombo, Kudzanai Chipanga and Patrick Zhuwao, was usurping constitutionally guarded Executive, Legislative and Judicial roles.
President Mnangagwa said the ZDF could not sit back and helplessly watch such abuse and violation of the supreme law of the country.
“I know that you followed the political development process, but I should fully explain that to fill in the gaps in the understanding of that process,” he said.
“The situation had deteriorated to the extent that the role of the Executive, the Judiciary and Legislature was no longer distinguishable.
“We had a cabal that was using the former First Lady to participate in the Executive, Judicial and Legislative roles against the Constitution.
“That was a gross violation of the Constitution and it was ZDF’s duty to protect the Constitution. When the ZDF led by General (Constantino) Chiwenga (Rtd) realised that (former) President (Robert Mugabe) no longer had the capacity to uphold the tenets of the Constitution, they intervened.”
President Mnangagwa said the historic transition was peaceful and was roundly endorsed by a cross-section of Zimbabweans who joined war veterans and mainstream opposition parties in a solidarity rally and marches across provinces, seeking former President Mugabe’s ouster.
He said his re-instatement and rise to the Presidency of both the ruling Zanu-PF party and Government was a transparent process engineered by a majority in the revolutionary party’s Central Committee in line with its constitution.
Parliament also instituted proceedings to impeach Cde Mugabe, who opted to resign in the midst of the debate.
The Legislature also felt the former Head of State no longer had the capacity to lead, said President Mnangagwa.
He said impeachment could have meant loss of status or imprisonment on the part of the sitting President at the time.
Throughout all these processes, said President Mnangagwa, the party and Government followed constitutional guidelines, hence the endorsement of the smooth transition by the regional and international community.
The G40 cabal leaders had to be expelled from the party and lost their posts in Government.
Some of them are being sought after by authorities for abuse of office during their tenure.
President Mnangagwa had the opportunity to narrate his unceremonious expulsion from Zanu-PF and Government and how he dramatically escaped attempts to eliminate him when he skipped the border into Mozambique and later, with the help of friends, found his way to South Africa, where he stayed for about 14 days before coming back home to lead.
He recalled how he was vilified during interface rallies across provinces and survived poisoning attempts.
President Mnangagwa implored Zimbabweans to forgive and move forward with a focus on rebuilding the economy, while cherishing unity, peace and love.