Spotlight: Situation remains volatile in Zimbabwe amid calls for president's resignation

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-18 14:17:15|Editor: Yamei
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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (2nd R) and Zimbabwe Defense Forces Chief Constantino Chiwenga (1st R) pose for photos at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Nov. 16, 2017. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe met Zimbabwe Defense Forces Chief Constantino Chiwenga and South African envoys here on Thursday. (Xinhua/Joseph Nyadzayo)

BEIJING, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The situation in Zimbabwe remains volatile as the country's ruling ZANU-PF party has called on President Robert Mugabe to step down.

Eight out of the ten provincial committees of the ZANU-PF party made the call after the military appeared to have taken control of the government earlier this week, according to the country's state broadcaster.

They also called for the renunciation of the Generation 40 (G40), a faction of the ZANU-PF party which is allegedly led by First Lady Grace Mugabe, and the reinstatement of former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the party and the government.

The 93-year-old president and his wife have been reportedly put under house arrest by the military since Wednesday, a week after Mugabe fired Mnangagwa, his political ally for more than 40 years, on allegations of disloyalty and deceit.

The president is being accused of allowing the formation of cabals who had clouded his judgement. And military leaders said on state TV that they were not taking over the government, but "targeting criminals" around Mugabe.

Zimbabwe's influential war veterans' association has urged Zimbabweans to attend a rally in the capital of Harare on Saturday in support of the action taken by the military.

Leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, has also urged Mugabe to resign and pave the way for democratic elections.

The opposition leader said there must be a negotiated all-inclusive transitional mechanism agreed upon by all national stakeholders.

The Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) claimed Friday in a statement that significant progress has been made in efforts to "weed out" the criminals.

On the same day, Mugabe made his first public appearance since the reported military takeover, attending a graduation ceremony at the Zimbabwe Open University.

His attendance is said to show that he is still in charge of the country, at least for now.

The ZDF said it is engaging with Mugabe, who is constitutionally commander-in-chief of the defence forces, "on the way forward" after Mugabe met the ZDF Chief Constantino Chiwenga and Southern African Development Community (SADC) mediators to discuss the political impasse.

The SADC's Chairperson Jacob Zuma has said that the regional bloc stands ready to provide all necessary support to Zimbabwe, an SADC member state, to resolve the current political crisis.

The SADC hopes that the unfolding developments in Zimbabwe will not lead to unconstitutional change of government, said Zuma, also president of South Africa.

He reminded all the parties involved to ensure that maintenance of peace and security as enshrined in the Zimbabwean constitution is not compromised.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for continued calm in Zimbabwe.

He underlined the importance of resolving political differences through peaceful means, including through dialogue and in conformity with the country's constitution.

He also reiterated UN's commitment to continuously supporting Zimbabwe's national efforts to consolidate democratic governance.

KEY WORDS: Zimbabwe