‘We’ll breathe fresh air after Robert Mugabe’

Movement was normal at the Beitbridge border post near Musina in Limpopo yesterday despite moves in Zimbabwe that could see President Robert Mugabe ousted.

Zimbabwean citizens easily moved in and out of the border town to buy groceries in SA.

Members of the SA National Defence Force, who are manning the border fence, said they had not noticed any influx of Zimbabwean nationals since the military intervention on Tuesday.

Luckson Dhambi, 38, from Kusangaya village in Mashonaland East Province, said they were not perturbed by the turmoil at home. He had arrived in Musina in the morning to do shopping.

“I am personally happy about the developments in my country as I want a change of regime,” said Dhambi.

He said soldiers who had taken control of the country had assured them of safety.

Sharon Masawi, 25, from Harare, said Zimbabweans were breathing fresh air since news emerged of Mugabe’s house arrest. “That man has made our lives a living hell. We wish the military can take over the rule of Zimbabwe for good.”

However another Harare resident, Shiyani Sithole, 40, begged to differ: “Mugabe is a good man.

“He has been good to us, only that some of his ministers are messing things up in order for Mugabe’s government to look bad.”

Limpopo police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said they had not received any reports of abnormalities in terms of influx of Zimbabweans into the country.

“The reports we received indicate that the situation is normal at the Beitbridge border gate,” said Ngoepe.

Political analyst and activist Elinor Sisulu warned that Zimbabwe faced an uncertain future following the intervention of the military.

Sisulu, who is also director of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, put the development down to a struggle between two dominant factions within the ruling Zanu-PF, saying it wasn’t clear where the country would go from here.

“The one outcome is transition period followed by free and fair elections. The other outcome could be a period of intensified oppression.”

 Elections were likely to defuse the tension, she said.
The country is due for parliamentary and presidential elections next year.

Zimbabwean political analyst Takura Zhangazha said the solution to the crisis lied with Zanu-PF.

“The reaction of the Zimbabwean public has always been to watch and wait for instruction [from Zanu-PF]. The majority of our population in rural areas accept solutions as they are given to them. That is why you will not see demonstrations. They don’t know right now who the leader is.”

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