Don't die with Zim: Malema

HARARE - Firebrand South African opposition leader, Julius Malema — once a very close ally of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF — has again pleaded with the increasingly frail nonagenarian to step down with immediate effect and allow other Zimbabweans to take over from him.

His call, the second in as many days, comes as Mugabe’s longtime regional ally and Angolan leader, Eduardo Jose dos Santos — who is nearly 20 years the nonagenarian’s junior — has just announced that he will step down after 37 years at the helm of his oil-rich country.

And yesterday, a weary-looking Mugabe inadvertently appeared to confirm the necessity of the growing local and international calls for him to leave office, when he delivered yet another short and insipid State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Parliament.

In a typically biting statement on Monday evening, congratulating the people of Gambia for holding a peaceful and democratic election that saw President Yahya Jammeh conceding defeat to his opponent Adama Barrow, Malema’s militant Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said it was time for Mugabe to exit the political stage.

“We believe that the Zimbabwean president ... Mugabe should take a lesson and accept that other Zimbabweans can also lead, whilst maintaining and sustaining his great legacy.

“He must give way and not set an example that if one does the things he did for Zimbabwean people, like land expropriation, then one must stay in power till death,” part of the EFF’s statement reads.

Mugabe, who turns 93 in February, is the only leader Zimbabwe has had since the country attained its independence in 1980.

“Political power should not have to be taken to the grave. Great political leadership in the continent ought to live to see others lead the country to demonstrate to the whole world that theirs is an immovable legacy as Fidel Castro of Cuba did.

“In addition, this allows them to also give guidance and counsel,” the EFF, said, adding that Jammeh was “a great example” to many African leaders who wanted to stay in power till death.

“Staying in power till death does not help you see to it that the country can indeed go forward without you. It is inevitable that we all die. Thus, great leadership is one that allows to hand over so they can die knowing the country and their legacy is safe,” Malema’s party further said.

Last week, the EFF leader also made headlines after he called on Mugabe to step down, saying it was time for the Zimbabwean leader “to go”.

“We love ...Mugabe for who he is, although we accept it’s time for him to step down,” Malema said during a memorial service in honour of Castro who died a week ago at the age of 90.

Mugabe, who read the wrong speech last year, delivered a tired and dour address yesterday, which lasted only 30 minutes — leading to yet more calls that he should now take a rest.

The nonagenarian is facing the biggest challenge to his 36 years in power, as he battles growing civil unrest in the country, as well as rising discontent within his warring Zanu PF party where deadly tribal, factional and succession wars have taken the former liberation movement to the brink of yet another split.

But despite the growing calls for Mugabe to retire, his spokesperson, George Charamba ,shot down these early this week.

Charamba told the Daily News that Mugabe would remain in office and also honour Zanu PF’s wish that he stands as the party’s candidate in the 2018 presidential plebiscite.

“Why do you think democracy works on copying a neighbour’s example? Suddenly, we are abandoning our systems of democracy to encourage the president to admire a neighbouring state (Angola)?

“The principle of democracy goes by winning the ballot and the majority voted for him (Mugabe) to be president. The Angolan experience is not a rule book,” Charamba said.

“The president is being nominated unanimously in all provinces and we are going to have a Zanu PF ... Mugabe candidature for the 2018 elections and we will win resoundingly.

“That is why they (opposition) want to stop him from standing in the elections because they know he will win. All these theories are because they know he will win,” he added.

Meanwhile, analysts told the Daily News last night that Mugabe had failed “miserably” in his Sona speech to inspire fed up Zimbabweans who are angry at his government’s continuing inability to rescue the country’s dying economy.

They said most Zimbabweans were eager to hear Mugabe speak on the country’s debilitating cash crisis which the newly-introduced bond notes are so far failing to stem due to high demand.

After presenting his damp squib Sona, opposition MPs also said it was time for Mugabe to call it quits.

“The State of the nation starts with the state of the health of the leadership and we all hoped that Mugabe was going to start with the state of his health which has become questionable owing to his advanced age,” said MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa.

Earlier Mugabe had struggled to climb steps outside Parliament building, as he made his way into the National Assembly, and had to lean on his security details to avoid falling.

Chamisa said it was an indictment on young Zimbabweans that Mugabe, at the ripe age of 92, continued to come to Parliament to address MPs.

“We have a president who is refusing to leave office to allow youthful leaders to come and this is not about MDC or Zanu PF. It is a national problem.

“There is a leadership vacuum on account of nature and it is a question lingering on the lips of traditional leaders, the church and ordinary Zimbabweans. Clearly the call of nature is negating our national standing as a people.

‘There are questions about poverty, bond notes that have not been accepted by the public, joblessness, corruption that has become a cancer, conditions for free and fair elections in the country and yet the president chose to ignore all that or he simply has no capacity to tackle them,” Chamisa thundered.

The MDC’s secretary for Finance, Tapiwa Mashakada, said he was also disappointed that Mugabe had said “nothing except to harp on the usual rhetoric”.

“I expected to hear how the country is going to emerge from the cash crisis seeing that bond notes have failed to ease the problem,” Mashakada said.

“The issue of growth of this depressed economy is one other thing we expected to hear but was not touched on. Then there are also the issues relating to the stamping out of corruption and the poverty gripping the nation. In short I didn’t hear any bread and butter issues,” he added.

Comments (15)

Mugabe has indeed become a national liability and those who are supporting him to remain at the helm are doing so either out of fear for what might happen to them if they are seen to be opposing him or they are a thieving lot who are benefitting immensely from the fact that they can now steal and loot bfrom the government coffers without him noticing due to advanced age.No sane person would want a 94 year old to be their president even the unsophisticated ones from the remotest part of the country.He is just too old to offer any meaningful solutions to the countless problems bedevilling the country.His wife is also not helping the situation by even declaring that Bob will actually rule from a wheelchair.Power has also intoxicated her absolutely that she can't imagine life out of state house.Had she been a loving and caring wife she could have persuaded his old frail husband to call it quits long back.

Janana wa Bikaz - 7 December 2016

Salamba , what systems do we have . Ignorance is bliss. Nawe Salamba u can lead, unfortunately the goblin has made it impossible for u to c it that way. Any Zimbabwean can lead. What is positive about the goblins rulership that can be preserved as a legacy apart from poverty and disease that has infested Zim. Look at u , u have a good job but ufana notsheketsha , u don't even look health shame.

Ndoda - 7 December 2016

vanosapota mugabe vanhu vanorarama samahure anongoti akangopiwa tudoro watonyengwa tu rice watonyengw tuupfu watonyengwa havadi kuzvishandira vave kungoti zanu zanu vasina zvavanoziva vanonyanya kuda sadza repa rally vanoda kuzviti mamonya vachitemba nemusangano shit dzevanhu chazvakanakira vazhinji vacho ukavaona unonzwa tsitsi basa kusimudza vana kasukuwere vavasingazivi

masvingo - 7 December 2016

Charamba must be reminded that Mugabe was never voted in. He lost the 2008 elections emphatically and you and your kind cooked the numbers for 5wks!! You seem to have a short memory. Who in their right mind would vote for a fossile?

Moe Syslack - 7 December 2016

Saka mbiri yaMalemba ndeyei? What now makes EFF different from ANC. He has fallen into the same trap.

tathth - 7 December 2016

Zanu are vampires kusvika rini muri ma satanists chaiwo. Zanu and Mugabe means lucifer and his angels varume vakuru nyarai Zimbabwe haina mutupo wemunhu stop the it now !

baba Gedza - 8 December 2016

The call for president Mugabe to retire is noble&correct.I agree itz not an MDC,opposition nor zanu pf thing,but in the mind of all zimbabweans,including spokesman Charamba-he is only hiding behind the finger, at the back of his mind he too wishes the president to retire-but may b fear&probable demage on his reputation if he comes open.Mujuru has told us it all,all zanu pf members secretly wish the president to retire,including all members of their party's 10 provinces who endorsed him for his 2018 their party candidacy for president,save only for may b for few irredeemables incuding his wife Grace.They fear backlashes if they ever show signs of being open like what happened to Dzikamai Mavhaire that year.But ths shifts the responsibity for the nation at large to enforce it come 2018 but only if they endure the green bombers,&other malicia groups instruments likely to b unlished on the public in the same way to induce fear &like in zanu pf force Mugabe win.There is nothing we can do ,the issue is resources,our resources are used to achieve this wrong end

addmore gudo - 8 December 2016

Its just TOO LATE to call for Mugabe to step down TOO LATE. The noblest thing is just to wait and see!

TOO LATE - 8 December 2016

Mugabe must simply die. That way we are assured that he wont come back to haunt us. Maybe kill his offsprings as well, Zhuwao offsprings and all of that ritten family's little devils.

Langamann - 8 December 2016

But this shows this fool Malema his skull is full of sewage stuff just recently he was singing praising and dinning with the most hated leader ion earth R G Mugabe .But shame the son of a Malawian migrant does not listen to anyone but only Grace . And the reason why he listens to Grace is she often claps him .

Diibulaanyika - 8 December 2016

Zimbabwe people we pretent to know too much that is why we get ruled by these foreigners

madube - 9 December 2016

To hear people like charamba defend this old guy -is a shame because after Mugabe goes who will employ this wife beater That will be the end for all these vultures Havasi kurara nedzin.anga kuti Mugabe asafe before 2018 -Grace worse --if hubby steps down no more $1.4 million rings

gonyeti 2 - 9 December 2016

Has anyone ever noticed that those who defend RGM do not even mention what will improve for the voters after he "wins", no. Shrill voices from lesser men who can't run life on their own except sap the energy off a dying man. Vampires.

Sagitarr - 13 December 2016

Thats it Malema, thumbs you Hnr Ndlozi yu are the real Man Mr i resoect you, thses fools are making our lives difficult ... those dogs ZANU people foos

Me - 26 January 2017

Thats it Malema, thumbs you Hnr Ndlozi yu are the real Man Mr i resoect you, thses fools are making our lives difficult ... those dogs ZANU people fools

Me - 26 January 2017

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