Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
FORMER Finance Minister Mr Tendai Biti has denounced Mr Robert Mugabe for denigrating the new dispensation saying the former President should be reminded that he is no longer in Government.
Last week, Mr Mugabe told journalists that the new Government was “illegitimate” and that a meeting between him and his successor would restore constitutional order.
Mr Biti said following his resignation, Mr Mugabe’s role can only come “maybe” as a member of the council of elders should such a body be put in place.
Mr Biti was speaking during a panel discussion during the 5th Chief Executive Officers’ Africa Round Table in Victoria Falls last Friday.
When the director of ceremonies asked the panellists to comment on Mr Mugabe’s claims that President Mnangagwa’s administration was illegitimate, Mr Biti said:
“The former President must understand his time is up. We must create a council of elders made of elderly people who can sit and advise the state and maybe he should be there.
“If ED (President Mnangagwa) was here we would have told him to form one.”
Deputy Minister of Finance Cde Terrence Mukupe said Mr Mugabe needs to rest.
“In our African culture we respect the elderly and as such we respect what the former President did for this country. But the criminals around him need to be stopped because he needs to retire, rest and write books so we learn from him,” he said.
At the weekend, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said Mr Mugabe must approach the courts of law if he believes President Mnangagwa’s administration lacks constitutional legitimacy. Mr Charamba told our sister paper The Sunday Mail that it was absurd for Mr Mugabe to place himself above the entire State and polity, and give himself power to bestow legitimacy.
“The former President has asked for a meeting with President ED to cleanse what he calls an unconstitutional order. Well, far be it from me to prevent any meeting between the President and any Zimbabwean, least of all his former boss,” he said.
“However, looking at it from a commonsensical point of view, I can’t see how an order which is allegedly unconstitutional gets cleansed by a meeting of two individuals over a cup of coffee.
“That is to assume that the two, in the sum, constitute the State and the two define constitutionalism. Is this not really an issue that he (Mr Mugabe) should take to the courts for them to determine? But as I said, this is just me.”