Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Malema takes aim at Mnangagwa but says Mugabe overstayed in power

by ZimLive
13 Sep 2019 at 05:55hrs | Views
South African opposition leader Julius Malema on Thursday pleaded with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to allow Robert Mugabe's exiled loyalists to bury him, telling him: "You can't be worse than apartheid regime."

Several of Mugabe's former ministers, driven into exile after the military ended his 37-year rule in 2017, will not be burying him next week, fearing arrest by the new rulers.

Malema was speaking at a memorial service for Mugabe organised by his Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Soweto.

Mugabe's nephew Patrick Zhuwao, who was youth minister until the coup, and Saviour Kasukuwere, who held the portfolio of local government minister, spoke at the memorial service denouncing Mnangagwa.

"We call upon Mnangagwa and his regime to do the right thing and allow this comrade to go back and bury his uncle, and if they don't want him he can come back and we will receive him here in South Africa," Malema said, pointing at Zhuwao.

"Not all the time, but sometimes the apartheid regime used to release prisoners to go and bury their loved ones. Is the Mnangagwa regime worse than apartheid? Why can't Mnangagwa release a statement to say all those who have worked with President Mugabe who are facing this or that charge, for the purpose of this funeral, you are all welcome, some form of immunity so that these people can go and bid farewell to a man they lived with, a man who brought them up, a man who looked after them, a man who wanted them to succeed him?

"It was logical for Tyson (Kasukuwere) to succeed president Mugabe. If Tyson can't succeed President Mugabe, what is the purpose of having the youth league? The youth league is the training ground to prepare for the second and third layer of leadership for the mother body. Why is Mnangagwa and crew threatened by the youth? Anyone that is scared of the young you must know that person is not for progress."

Speaking next to a life-size sculpture of Mugabe, Malema said the former president's loyalists driven into exile were facing "concocted charges" and "political persecution" because Mnangagwa and old military commanders were feeling threatened by the youth.

Several former ministers in Mugabe's government are now in exile. They include Jonathan Moyo, Mandi Chimene, Godfrey Gandawa, Walter Mzembi, Zhuwao and Kasukuwere.

The exiled Mugabe loyalists include former intelligence and police chiefs.

Earlier on Thursday, Mugabe family spokesman and Zhuwao's brother, Leo Mugabe, told journalists that he did not expect Zhuwao to attend the funeral. The family has not said when or where Mugabe, who died in Singapore last week at the age of 95, will be buried.

"Chances are that he might not come. Do you want him to be arrested? Yes, we hear that the government says he won't be arrested, but do you believe that? Do you want him to be persecuted? I don't think it is right at all," said Mugabe.

Meanwhile, Malema has revealed how he feared for Mugabe's life during the military coup to a point that he called then South African president Jacob Zuma asking him to send a plane for him.

Malema said Mugabe was "always ready and available to advise" but had overstayed in power before he was toppled.

"We told Tyson and them that President Mugabe must retire because he was too old. We don't want presidents that leave office in a coffin. We did not want President Mugabe to leave in the manner they did to him, but leaving was non-negotiable," Malema said.

"Once they started that mess (coup), I told Tyson why can't we negotiate that we take President Mugabe to come to South Africa? I even called President Zuma, the enemy, to say ‘chief, let's put aside our differences can you make a call for the old man to come this side.'

"We were worried they were going to kill the old man. We wanted to save him, we had a revolutionary duty to save him. But you know we were dealing with a stubborn old man who said I'm going to die here, and I will be buried here."

Source - ZimLive