Tendai H. Manzvanzvike, Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe’s President-in-waiting Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Jacob Zuma in the South African capital, Pretoria.
President Zuma is the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc). The meeting came a day after the resignation of President Mugabe from office on Tuesday, following a military intervention and massive but peaceful demonstrations by people countrywide, calling on him to step down.
Cde Mugabe’s resignation was announced by Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda as a joint sitting of Parliament was preparing to debate a motion to impeach the former President.
Reactions from the international community continue to pour in as global leaders, institutions and other friendly nations respond to Cde Mugabe’s resignation.
The South African Parliament said in a statement that it had noted Cde Mugabe’s decision to resign, adding “this should assist with the peaceful transition to a new leadership.”
They applauded the peace and discipline shown since the military operation started. “We also commend the restraint displayed by key institutions and ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe in what could have degenerated into an increasingly tense, protracted, and troubled situation,” read the statement from the SA Parliament.
The African National Congress, a sister liberation movement of Zanu-PF through its secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said they were not celebrating Cde Mugabe’s resignation and urged restraint. “We have taken a view that says we must continue respecting (Cde) Mugabe for the role he played as a freedom fighter. We must continue supporting him for advocating the Africa development programme and we must celebrate him for being a pan-Africanist…,” he said.
He said the ANC had taken “an approach that is not as emotional as others, (for) Zanu-PF is our sister party,” Mantashe said.
China, one of the major global players with deep cooperation with Zimbabwe said its policy towards Zimbabwe would not change. Instead, it expected to enhance cooperation with Zimbabwe under “the principles of equality and mutual benefit”, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said yesterday.
Lu said China has a high regard for Cde Mugabe, who made historic contributions to Zimbabwe’s independence and liberation, is an active advocate of Pan-Africanism, and has also made tremendous contributions to the China-Zimbabwe and China-Africa relations, respectively.
“China respects Mr Mugabe’s decision to resign. He remains a good friend to the Chinese people,” said Lu.
Lu also told journalists that China will adhere to its principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe, and hoped that other nations will do the same.
He added: “China attaches great importance to relations with Zimbabwe and is willing to make joint efforts with Zimbabwean side to facilitate cooperation in all fields,” for, “a stable and developing Zimbabwe is in line with fundamental interests of its own people.”