Mzembi: Zimbabweans mistaken about 'sense of freedom’ under new regime

UK Express
UK Express

ZIMBABWEANS have a “false sense of freedom” if they believe the new regime will allow them to demonstrate openly, a former ally of the Mugabe’s has claimed.

Responding to claims that Robert Mugabe regime had repressed the people, a former member of government hit back saying the new regime would also not allow people to be “out on the streets” without a police sanction.

Former Foreign Minister of Zimbabwe Walter Mzembi said: “They may have a false sense of freedom if they think that they can be out on the street to demonstrate without a police sanction.”

Since the military seized power, locals have been seen protesting against him freely without fear of recrimination.

One demonstrator said: “For a long time, we did not like Mugabe but we were afraid because if you were saying something negative about him, you would be butchered.”

Mzembi fled his lavish home for a hotel while the military coup was taking place before emerging to declare his support for the new President claiming his loyalty was to the office.

He said: “I was in my bedroom upstairs. I heard gunshots.

“Of course I thought ‘this cannot be right, whatever it is’.

“You don’t wait to be captured by anarchy if you suspect that’s what it is. You don’t wait for it to happen.”

He claimed that for “quite some time” before the tanks rolled into the capital the military had given the government warning.

He said: “In hindsight, they were warning us. We never took them seriously.”

The dictator’s unpopular wife’s elevation to his successor sparked the military takeover.

Grace Mugabe would publicly attack veterans of the liberation and senior party members, Mzembi recalls.

He said: “I think she behaved like that kind of mother who would punish her children in public.”

The former minister said he was surprised when he heard that Mugabe had resigned and thinks he chose to stand down due to the pressure of the impeachment process.

Mzembi said: “He was betrayed by his colleagues. But that is politics.”

The International Monetary Fund has warned Zimbabwe’s new government to act quickly to save the nation’s economy.

Zimbabwe mission chief Gene Leon pinpointed government spending and foreign debt as key targets for reform need heavy structural reform.

New leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to expand the economy and provide “jobs, jobs, jobs”.

Leon said: "Immediate action is critical to reduce the deficit to a sustainable level, accelerate structural reforms, and re-engage with the international community to access much needed financial support.”

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