Harare – Zimbabweans have been reacting on Twitter to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation following the #Brexit victory – and some of them are asking why President Robert Mugabe never stood down after his election defeats.
Mugabe, now 92, lost a constitutional referendum in 2000. He also lost the first round of voting in presidential elections in 2008. When that happened, an announcement of the results was delayed for five weeks.
Thugs backed by Mugabe’s military went on a rampage in the rural areas, maiming opposition supporters and killing around 200 of them.
“David Cameron resigns, Mugabe still stands,” said @keddah83.
“Imagining Mugabe resigning after that NO vote. Not even elections can make him go,” said@RidiculousMoyo.
Commenting on Cameron’s decision to step down, @lashiasn said: “He has done the honourable thing. If only our bumbling leaders were cut from a similar fabric.”
Mugabe has been in power since independence in 1980. He still enjoys – or appears to – significant support, particularly in the rural areas of Zimbabwe. But support for the Movement for Democratic Change has been strong in the urban areas since the opposition party was formed in 1999.
Economist Vince Musewe suggested that Mugabe should have resigned nearly three decades ago after the Gukurahundi killings, which saw around 20 000 people in southern Matabeleland killed by members of Mugabe’s North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade: “Mugabe should have resigned after Gukurahundi as Cameroon has resigned for his failed leadership re Brexit.”
Others are seeing parallels between Brexit’s shock victory and Mugabe’s continued defeats of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai at the ballot box.