MDC hails Annan for blasting overstaying leaders

HARARE - Welshman Ncube’s MDC has said former United Nations secretary-general Koffi Annan should consider lending President Robert Mugabe some notes on good governance, human rights and democracy after the renowned international diplomat urged African leaders to leave when their mandated time is up.

“The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) salutes ...Annan for urging African leaders including ... Mugabe to relinquish power and pass on the button,” MDC spokesman Kurauone Chihwayi said.

“Zimbabwe is one of the African countries that is not making progress because of an overstaying leader who has been at the centre of internal storms since 1980.”

Without mentioning Mugabe by name, Annan said on the sidelines of the 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa held in Ethiopia last week, that African leaders must leave office when their term expires if elections are to cease contributing to conflicts on the continent.

“If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after term after term, the tendency may be the only way to get him out is through a coup or people taking to the streets,” the Nobel laureate said.

“Neither approach can be seen as an alternative to democracy, to elections or to parliamentary rule. Constitutions and the rules of the game have to be respected.”

Chihwayi said: “...Mugabe should heed the advice by veteran top diplomat Kofi Annan and other world leaders to step down and give Zimbabwe a chance to move forward.”

The 92-year-old, who has ruled the southern African country since independence from Britain in 1980, was controversially re-elected in the 2013 presidential polls, sledged by the opposition as “fraudulent” and “rigged”.

Annan said that while unconstitutional changes to government on the continent had reduced, exclusionary politics threatened to reverse the gains made.

“I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations which may bring them back,” he said.

He added that winner-take-all approaches to elections on the continent had the effect of leaving out citizens for holding an opposing view, raising tensions around elections.

Annan, who chairs the Africa Progress Panel and the Nelson Mandela-founded The Elders grouping, said he had been the first to tell the African Union not to accept coup leaders among their midst during an OAU heads of state summit in Lusaka in 2001.

Chihwayi said Zimbabwe was not making strides in terms of development because of Zanu PF’s bad governance, crippling corruption and incompetence that has seen the Mugabe regime losing  billions raised from Chiadzwa diamond sales.

In his 92 birthday interview with State media, Mugabe conceded what the opposition and other commentators have long stated.

“We have not received much from the diamond industry at all. I don’t think we have exceeded $2 billion, yet we think more than $15 billion has been earned,” the 92-year-old president told State television.

Chihwayi said the diamond heist was proof that Mugabe was no longer fit and proper to continue ruling.

“The disappearance of the money is a confirmation of bad leadership and rampancy of corruption in Mugabe’s government,” Chihwayi said.

“We are urging the international donor community including UN agencies to monitor and evaluate government spending in Zimbabwe for purposes of guarding against abuse of resources meant for the people.

“The country is stagnant, isolated, and economically dead because of a tired, bankrupt and corrupt leadership that is not ashamed of its failure to create jobs for the jobless and food for a hungry nation.”

The MDC attributed the collapse of various investment deals in Zimbabwe, including the Zisco/Essar deal, to corruption in government and Zanu PF’s internal feuding. Essar beat off several rivals, including ArcelorMittal and Jindal Steel, to land the tender to take over Zisco — once Africa’s largest steelworks - with its conquest being celebrated at an elaborate 2011 event attended by Mugabe and his then power-sharing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The deal ran into trouble over the iron ore mineral rights that had been written in, but which hard-line elements in Mugabe’s government found unpalatable. The government is now scouting for a new investor to revive Ziscosteel, according to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Chihwayi said: “We remain committed to the opening of investment floodgates and immediate boosting of exports to replenish the country’s foreign currency reserves. It is our desire as the MDC government to present a fair playing field and equal opportunities to everybody.”

Comments (1)

coff zvakaoma shaa. kuvhota kana kusavhota zvakafanana

vhakelah580 - 25 April 2016

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