By Moses Chibaya
JUSTICE Minister and top Zanu PF politician Ziyambi Ziyambi has shot down claims current President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his new government got into power through a military coup.
“The current regime did not get into power through a military operation. There was a parliamentary process that was started and supported by parties in Parliament,” Ziyambi said of then President Robert Mugabe’s impeachment process that was abruptly stopped when the ex-leader tendered his resignation November last year.
Ziyambi was speaking during a live radio discussion on Capitalk.
The programme was sponsored by the local poll watchdog, the Election Resource Centre (ERC).
Mugabe was forced to give up his job in November when the military placed him under house arrest, igniting a popular impeachment process in parliament.
Speaking for the first time over the November events, Mugabe recently described his exit from his job as a “coup d’état”.
“It was truly a military takeover,” he said.
However, Ziyambi, who was also responding to comments by co-panellist and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson Jacob Mafume, who also represented the MDC Alliance, said Mugabe’s resignation was above board, adding that his eventual exit was triggered by an impeachment process in Parliament.
Mafume told the Zanu PF loyalist the MDC Alliance will not be part of an illegitimate electoral process.
“There will be no election if there are no reforms,” he said.
“We will not be part of a process where we are going to enter into the coronation of a military action that was done seven months ago. We will not be the icing on the cake for what is a window dressing process. They came in with a platform of reform.”
Electoral reforms remain a hot potato in Zimbabwean politics with the opposition and civic groups constantly calling for the alignment of the Electoral Act with the national Constitution.
This they say is meant to allow the country to hold free, fair and credible elections.
European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Phillipe Van Damme has said time was flying for electoral reforms to be both implemented.
“We are running out of time; that’s clear,” Van Damme said.
The EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe said the constitution must be respected.
“…make a plea a formal plea for peaceful elections. Those that have been accused in the past for not being neutral were they were supposed to be neutral…also stand up and make a formal public plea for all the others that they will respect the constitutional obligations,” he said.
Zimbabwe will hold the make or break elections in less than five months.