Cape Town – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe should step down and allow other Zimbabweans to take over from him, South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said on Monday.
The EFF said this in statement, as it congratulated the people of Gambia for holding a peaceful and democratic election that saw President Yahya Jammeh conceding defeat to his opponent Adama Barrow.
Jammeh, who ruled the west African country for 22 years, accepted his defeat on Friday, following an election in which over 800 000 people voted.
Official results showed that Barrow won the polls with 45.54%. Jammeh took 212 099 votes (36.66%) and third part independent Mama Kandeh went away with 102 969 votes (17.80%)
“We believe that the Zimbabwean President Robert 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,” read part of the statement.
Mugabe, who is turning 93 in February, has been in power since the southern African 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,” said the EFF.
The EFF said that President 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,” the EFF said.
Last week the EFF leader Julius Malema made headlines after he called on Mugabe to step down, saying it was time for the Zimbabwean leader “to go”.
“We love Robert Mugabe for who he is, although we accept it’s time for him to step down,” Malema said during a memorial service in hour of Castro, who died a week ago at the age of 90.
“Like Castro did, handing over power to his brother, President Mugabe must do the same,” the red berets’ commander-in-chief said.
Malema’s remarks, however, infuriated the opposition Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) party, which claimed in a statement that his attack on Mugabe exposed him “of being the agent of the West as he is carrying their mandate very well”.
“He (Malema) was instructed to destabilise not only the governing party but the entire country. He is again entrusted with a mammoth task of dethroning the African hero of our liberation, uncle Bob,” PAC said.