A British Member of Parliament Kate Hoey today urged Britain not to welcome the new government in Zimbabwe especially if it is led by former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa because that would be tantamount to replacing one dictator with another.
Hoey said that Mnangagwa was probably worse than Mugabe because he was responsible for the Gukurahundi massacres and the campaign of torture, murder and repression that led up to the run-off in the 2008 presidential elections.
Although the military which stepped in today to prevent the country from being taken over by counter-revolutionaries and “criminals” said what it had staged was not a coup, she said, this was “a coup to ensure that former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa takes over”.
“Does the Foreign Secretary agree that changing from one ruthless leader to another ruthless leader will not help to create the conditions that can lead to genuinely free and fair elections in the coming year, and will not solve a dire economic situation in which thousands of people are destitute and food is scarce?” she asked.
“Many people in Zimbabwe and the international community will welcome the removal of the Mugabes if that is the outcome, but does the Foreign Secretary recognise that the former vice-president is probably the one person in Zimbabwe who inspires even greater terror than Mugabe, and that he was responsible for the massacres of at least 20 000 people in Matabeleland shortly after Mugabe took power in 1980?
“Does he recognise that Mnangagwa, as head of Joint Operations Command, is widely viewed to have co-ordinated ZANU-PF’s campaign of torture, murder and repression in the lead-up to the rigged run-off in the 2008 election?
“Will the Foreign Secretary make clear that Her Majesty’s Government’s policy on Zimbabwe will not change overnight, and that we will not jump in to welcome Mnangagwa should he take over right away?
“What more will the Government do to help ensure that free and fair elections take place and to give warm support to those who are struggling inside Zimbabwe to raise the flag of true freedom?
“Will the Foreign Secretary make representations to the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and South Africa to press ZANU-PF to allow genuinely free elections, and not just to accept another strongman dictator