South African President Jacob Zuma, the current chairperson of Southern African Development Community (SADC) has delivered a statement on the current developments in Zimbabwe.
Zuma called for ‘calm and restraint’ in Zimbabwe and urged government of Zimbabwe “to resolve the political impasse amicably” and to ensure “maintenance of peace and security”.
The statement issued by Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on behalf of the presidency in pretoria also urges Zimbabweans to desist from changing government by unconstitutional means.
“President Zuma has called for calm and restraint and has expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes of Government as that would be contrary to both SADC and African Union positions,” the statement reads in part.
“The President has urged the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Defence Force to resolve the political impasse amicably and has urged the Zimbabwean Defence Force to ensure that the maintenance of peace and security in the country is not compromised.SADC will continue to closely monitor the situation and remains ready to assist where necessary to resolve the political impasse in keeping with established SADC Protocols and processes.,” the statement continues.
Reports from Zimbabwe indicate that the army has taken charge of government, putting President Mugabe and wife under custody.
The current tension was sparked last week when Mugabe fired his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and accused him of disloyalty and plotting to seize power. Many observers saw the move as a step toward the installation of Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe, as vice president. That would put the first lady in position to become president when her 93-year-old husband retires or dies.