'Military intervention is the silver bullet for Zimbabwe'

Soldiers stand beside military vehicles just outside Harare, Zimbabwe. Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
Zimbabwe military Soldiers stand beside military vehicles just outside Harare, Zimbabwe. Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

The military intervention in Zimbabwe is the silver bullet which the country has been waiting for.

“The whole world wants to know: Will Zimbabwe step up or will we step out.”

This is what former Zanu-PF Youth leader Acie Lumumba said in a video on Thursday which has been shared on social media.

He said despite the Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) taking control of the country‚ he was urging citizens to unite to show the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that they want new rule in the country.

“Whichever way you look at it‚ what is happening in Zimbabwe is a military intervention which they (SADC) interpret into a military coup [sic].”

He claimed that on Sunday President Robert Mugabe would once again be in charge of the country if Zimbabwean citizens did not show the SADC they supported the ZDF intervention.

He called on citizens to gather at Robert Mugabe Square in Harare on Saturday to show their support for the military.

“If Saturday takes place at Robert Mugabe Square and you are not there when we march to the state house‚ then on Sunday you prepare for Robert Mugabe and his wife to come back.”

He said if the ZDF “attack us‚ the whole world is watching. If they don’t attack us‚ we win.”

The military engaged with Mugabe on his second day under house arrest under the watchful eye of the SADC facilitation team with his Roman Catholic priest playing a bridging role.

Father Fidelis Mukonori has known Mugabe‚ and his family‚ since the 1970s and is regarded in some circles as the spiritual father of the 93-year-old leader.

During the negotiations there was an impasse as the army pressed for him to reinstate Emmerson Mnangagwa as Vice President.

Mugabe‚ a revered negotiator‚ then demanded the army should first acknowledge they were acting outside legal provisions‚ sources said.

At this juncture the fight is between the rule of law and military intervention and the African Union (AU) declared it would not support a coup government in Zimbabwe.

“We demand respect for the constitution‚ a return to the constitutional order and we will never accept the military coup d'etat‚” AU head Alpha Conde told journalists.

By time of publication there were no public pronouncements from the SADC or anyone involved in the talks.

- Additional reporting by James Thompson 

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