President Mugabe will not cede power even if he loses the next election touted for this year, panellists to an Iran-based television station said this week.
The panellists, Thoko Kwaime, the deputy director of Surrey International Law Centre and Tandiwe Makiwane, a political and community activist, were contributing to a programme, Africa Today on Press TV based in Iran, focusing on hotspots in Africa where elections were likely to take place this year.
The programme was focusing on Zimbabwe, Egypt, which is going to hold elections this month, Sudan, which will hold a referendum for the separation of the South Sudan from the North and other problem areas such as Ivory Coast and Somalia.
Kwaime said President Robert Mugabe was not likely to cede power to the “opposition” and said it was high time he exhibited his leadership qualities as the veteran leader in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and relinquished power.
“It is most unlikely that he would cede power to the opposition in the forthcoming elections. However, it is high time that he leads by example as a veteran leader in Sadc and cede power. He should not set a wrong precedent for other Sadc leaders,” said Kwaime.
He said he foresaw increased criticism on (President) Mugabe coming from other regional bloc leaders who were likely to break ranks with him.
Makiwane said she was not optimistic that (President) Mugabe would relinquish power since he had used the land issue and security agents to bolster his stay in power.
She said even if (President) Mugabe was removed from power, she could not think of a better leader to replace him from the current crop of opposition leaders.
The pair concurred that Africa had set a bad precedent in democracy as most leaders’ refuse to relinquish power citing Zimbabwe, Kenya, Egypt and Ivory Coast.
The pair’s sentiments come hard on the heels of media reports that Zanu PF national chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo, told delegates at a meeting at Mary Mount Teachers’ College in Mutare in October that his party would never hand over power to a non-revolutionary party.
“We are a revolutionary party and any other party which thinks it will rule this country is day dreaming.
We will not relinquish power to any party other than Zanu PF,” Moyo was quoted saying.