I’ll pull out — Mugabe

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HARARE – President Robert Mugabe has threatened to pull Zimbabwe out of regional grouping Sadc accusing it of being influenced by “some stupid and idiotic woman” — Lindiwe Zulu.

He used his Zanu PF election manifesto launch in Harare’s high density suburb of Highfield to attack South African President Jacob Zuma’s international relations advisor Zulu.

Mugabe used to enjoy Sadc’s support before the emergence of younger and more democratic leaders like Zuma, Botswana’s Ian Khama and Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete, who have been pressuring the 89-year-old Zanu PF candidate to reform.

Three weeks ago, Sadc leaders meeting in Maputo laid into Mugabe and demanded that he, together with his coalition partners, implement reforms before elections now set for July 31.

“We are in Sadc voluntarily, if Sadc decides to do stupid things we can pull out,” said Mugabe to thunderous applause from the crowd, most of whom were bussed from rural areas of the country.

This is despite the fact that Mugabe owes his political life to Sadc, which in 2008 brokered a peace deal which returned him to power after a shocking loss to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round of the inconclusive March 2008 harmonised elections.

A subsequent run-off was derailed by violence resulting in a sham election on June 27 which was internationally condemned.

At least 200 MDC supporters allegedly  died in the run up to the presidential run-off elections forcing Tsvangirai to pull out.

But Mugabe yesterday dismissed Sadc and Zuma’s facilitation team, particularly the fearless Zulu whom he accused of meddling in the country’s political affairs.

Zuma’s facilitation team has been seized with the country’s political crisis for the past four years and Zulu in particular has ruffled feathers in the ex-majority party whose officials have labelled her a “regime change agent”.

The 89-year-old Zanu PF presidential candidate said he can pull out of Sadc if the regional grouping continues to go against his ideas.

Zulu recently suggested that Zimbabwe should postpone elections to facilitate the implementation of outstanding media and security sector reforms, a statement which attracted rebuke from the octogenarian leader.

Zuma, through Zulu, his spokesperson Mac Maharaj and Charles Nqakula have been frequenting Harare trying to solve the tumultuous political problems that characterised the inclusive government during its four-year tenure.

Mugabe described Zulu as “an ordinary stupid and idiotic street woman.”

“Utterances by some stupid and idiotic woman in South Africa saying Zimbabwe must do this and not that, will not be tolerated.

“Did such persons ever think that we as an independent country could take heed of such stupid and idiotic utterances?” asked Mugabe.

The 15-member bloc took a hard-line stance on Mugabe after a report from Zuma had exposed the country’s fragility to hold elections without the rule of law and adequate reforms.

However, on Thursday, the Constitutional Court, dismissed the application for a poll postponement — a verdict received with jubilation by Mugabe and his cronies.

This is not the first time that Zanu PF has attacked Zulu in her personal capacity.

Serial political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo has in the past viciously attacked the hard-talking Zulu but she has remained firm in a quest to help Zimbabwe achieve democracy.

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