Zimbabwean ex-president Robert Mugabe’s allies, who have since launched a new party, the New Patriotic Front (NPF), have reportedly “formally petitioned” the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy.
According to NewsDay, in a 79 page document, the NPF, through its the lawyer Marius van Niekerk, argued that Mnangagwa came into office through military intervention, and as a result, should not be recognised as the southern African nation’s president.
The petition was received by Angola President Joào Lourenco who leads SADC’s organ on politics, defence and security, the chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussaka Faki Mahamat, chairperson of SADC President Jacob Zuma, SADC executive secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax, and the outgoing AU chairperson Alpha Conde of Guinea, said the report.
The document contained minutes between former president Mugabe and the military chiefs, and was delivered to the regional leaders between February 2- 6.
Mugabe resigned in November, following dramatic scenes that saw the military put him under house arrest. The nonegenarian had been in power for 37 years.
Mnangagwa, his long-time ally turned rival after he was fired from the vice presidency, succeeded him.