‘Mugabe shouldn’t cry foul, he’s a victim of a monster he created,’ says rights activist

A Zimbabwean pro-democracy activist has said ex-president Robert Mugabe has no moral authority to cry foul as he is a “victim of a monster he had created”, says a report.

According to the privately owned New Zimbabwe.com online paper, human rights lawyer Fadzayi Mahere said the former president should instead do an introspection over his government’s misrule.

The veteran leader was pushed from power by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in November after he sacked his then deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Speaking at a panel discussion in Harare, the pro-democracy activist said it was a “myth” that the military had taken over the southern African country’s ruling party in 2017. She insisted that the army had always been part of Zanu-PF, even under Mugabe’s rule.

Mahere said the military was instrumental in Mugabe’s prolonged stay in office and as a result, the nonagenarian and his allies had no moral authority to protest as they were responsible for the military’s involvement in politics.

“It’s a myth that the military took over Zanu-PF in 2017, the military has always been in bed with Zanu-PF. That is why in 2008 they held another gun to Mugabe to say you are not going anywhere, and it seemed not to raise these arguments at that time,” Mahere was quoted as saying.

The activist was referring to a dramatic delay in the 2008 election which Mugabe reportedly lost to late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe’s refusal to announce the results for almost a month led to former president Thabo Mbeki intervening and a government of national unity being formed in 2009.

Mahere’s remarks also came on the back of Mugabe’s criticism of last year’s military intervention in government.

During his first interview since his ousting, Mugabe said the army’s intervention was “a coup” and that his successor, Mnangagwa, was in power “illegally”.

Those remarks have caused anger within the ruling Zanu-PF party, which has threatened to expel him and strip him of the privileges he enjoys as a former head of state.

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