Namibia President Hage Geingob says he is “pleased” that the Zimbabwe’s leadership transition was handled by Africans without the involvement of “western countries”, hinting at regional involvement in former President Robert Mugabe’s ouster.
The Namibian leader was speaking during a visit to Windhoek by new Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa this Monday.
Mugabe resigned last November after a military revolt which was backed by the ruling Zanu PF party recalling him as its leader and initiating – with the support of the opposition – impeachment proceedings as the 93-year-old tried cling on.
Loyalists of the veteran leader say the military action was a coup, making the successor Mnangagwa government illegitimate.
However, they have not found any support, at least publicly, from the regional SADC organisation and the African Union (AU) which are sworn to act against illegal seizures of power in member states.
President Geingob remarks after Mnangagwa briefed him on the situation in Harare suggest that the region could have helped manage Mugabe’s ouster.
“I am also happy that the transition of power in Zimbabwe was handled by Africans,” said the Namibian president.
“You did not see Washington there or any other Western countries. It shows that we have matured as Africans.”
Even so, loyalists are convinced the West played a role. Former cabinet minister and nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, has pointed an accusatory finger at “the regime change agenda diplomatic community led by the repressively naïve (British Ambassador) Catriona Laing”.
Again, outside Africa, Mnangagwa’s new government has also been endorsed in West capitals and also by countries Mugabe described as “all-weather friends” such as China and Russia.
Challenged on that international endorsement in a BBC interview, former tertiary education minister Professor Jonathan Moy – another loyalist of the fallen Mugabe – retorted that, “It’s not the world which chooses the leaders of Zimbabwe.
“We can only be concerned about the Republic of Zimbabwe, the views of the people of Zimbabwe. The international conspiracy that supports a dictatorship that has come to power via the bullet is another story which will not be experienced by Zimbabweans for the first time.”