Mutambara urges Mugabe to step down

HARARE – Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara has joined the raging succession fray by encouraging President Robert Mugabe to step down and pass the baton to an elected successor.

Mutambara told delegates to a three-day Institute of People Management of Zimbabwe (IPMZ) 2012 National Convention in Victoria Falls which started on Wednesday that the country had been robbed of growth by the 88-year-old’s refusal to step aside and pass on the baton to others.

Mutambara said it was high time the country had a new president and challenged the electorate to take a leaf from United States of America (USA) that had five different presidents since 1979. 

“We need to allow new leaders with more energy. Can you imagine if Carter was still the president of America since 1979, it would mean there will be no legacy and there will no Bush senior, Clinton, Bush junior and there will be no Obama,” said Mutambara.

He said the changing of presidents had brought progress in the USA.

“Look what those five presidents have done. There is new energy, new people, new excitement and growth in USA. 

“If Carter was still the president of America today, it would have denied the opportunity to those five people to bring new ideas in the country,” said Mutambara.

Mutambara’s comments come at a time when President Mugabe is battling to hold back the tide of calls from some members of his Zanu PF party to relinquish his stranglehold on the party leadership amid deepening divisions over his successor.

Mugabe has been a Zimbabwean leader since 1980. 

But in March 2008 he lost the first round of a presidential election to his bitter rival Morgan Tsvangirai in which another presidential hopeful, Simba Makoni played the spoilsport role.

None of the presidential candidates received an outright majority forcing a runoff in June that Mugabe went on to ‘‘win’’ when Tsvangirai withdrew from the race in protest over violence against his supporters.

After the controversial and disputed run off, Mugabe and Tsvangirai however, went on to form a government of national unity.

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Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister, Professor Arthur Mutambara has condemned the dictatorial behaviour of the European Union, warning the grouping that Zimbabwe will not yield to any conditions for the lifting of sanctions. 

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Professor Mutambara said this while addressing captains of industry attending the ongoing Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries annual congress in Nyanga.

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Sanctions have been singled out as the major impediment to investment in the country.

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Head of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Aldo Dell’ Ariccia, who presented a paper on EU economic cooperation with Zimbabwe, defended the decision to extend the sanctions saying there is need for political reforms, a proposal which has been widely criticised by the Zimbabwean government. Plus-Daily News

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