HARARE – Zanu PF’s central committee will today meet to accept the resolutions made by the party’s provincial coordinating committees to recall President Robert Mugabe from the party, the Daily News on Sunday can report.
The central committee, which is Zanu PF’s highest decision making body between congresses, will also recommend the expulsion of First Lady Grace Mugabe from her post as the women’s league secretary.
Also in the firing line, sources said, are the party’s political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo.
State media reported late last night that Mugabe is also expected to meet with the command element of the ZDF today.
As pressure mounts on Mugabe, the international community has also called for a speedy return to civilian rule, amid indications that Mugabe could be kicked out anytime.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for a return to civilian rule in Zimbabwe, saying the southern African country must hold free and fair elections in the wake of signs that Mugabe would be forced from power.
“We should work together for a quick return to civilian rule in that country in accordance with their Constitution,” Tillerson said Friday at a gathering of African Foreign ministers and diplomats at the State Department.
He continued: “Zimbabwe has an opportunity to set itself on a new path: one that must include democratic elections and respect for human rights. Ultimately the people of Zimbabwe must choose their government.”
The US Embassy in Harare said in a statement on Thursday the US government is “deeply concerned” by the actions taken by the Zimbabwean military.
“We call on the Zimbabwean military leaders to exercise restraint, respect the rule of law, uphold the constitutionally-protected rights of all citizens, and to quickly return the country to normalcy,” the statement said.
Neighbouring countries will hope for a solution that does not lead to violence with the UN also calling for a peaceful transition.
In the UK Theresa May called for “restraint on all sides” as the situation was “fluid”.
She said government’s primary concern was the safety of UK nationals in the former British colony, and urged expats in Harare to stay “safely at home” until the situation becomes clearer.
The UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, briefed the House of Commons on the situation in Zimbabwe.
He said the UK government has received no reports of any of the 20 000 British nationals living in Zimbabwe being injured. All embassy staff and their families are accounted for.
“We cannot tell how developments in Zimbabwe will play out in the days ahead and we do not know whether this marks the downfall of Mugabe or not, and we call for calm and restraint.
Johnson claims Britain has only ever wanted self-determination for the Zimbabwean people, while Mugabe has subverted democracy and harmed the country’s economy.
“We will never forget the strong ties of history and friendship with that beautiful country; accurately described as the jewel of Africa,” he told the Commons.
The foreign secretary also called for free and fair elections to be held as scheduled next year and said the UK would work to ensure they offer Zimbabweans a “genuine opportunity … to decide their future”.
Russia has not condemned the military takeover, but instead affirmed its commitment to keep its investments going.
Russian deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev said the military takeover was unlikely to affect foreign direct investments from flowing into the continent including the southern region.
Trutnev said he would like to look at the situation from the other side. “In most cases, instability emerges, when people are not satisfied with their lives. That’s why, it is necessary to attract money to the country in order to ensure stability, to attract investors, to create new enterprises… If the country is developing, there will be no grounds for instability, that’s why, in order to avoid destabilisation, Zimbabwe, as well as any other country, should simply develop its economy.”
Meanwhile, Mugame’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao has spoken out against the military’s intervention in the country’s politics saying the army has engineered the popular protests to disguise its coup.
Zhuwao who is currently in hiding said Mugabe has no intention of breaking Zimbabwe’s Constitution or legitimising the apparent “coup.”
Zhuwao told the Reuters news agency that Grace is ready to die for what is correct.