Former Zanu-PF legislator and independent member of parliament (MP) Temba Mliswa has said that it is “criminal and treasonous” to suggest that President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power through a military coup. Mliswa argues that former president Robert Mugabe was the commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and that only he (Mugabe) has the power to declare the military intervention a coup. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s Head of State for 37 years, only stepped down in November following a massive loss of support from Zanu-PF and the people of Zimbabwe, after the ZDF launched a military takeover codenamed Operation Restore Legacy. Mliswa chose to describe the intervention as a transition which was both smooth and bloodless.
Speaking at his Christmas cheer fund in Norton, Mliswa said:
There is no coup when the person targeted goes on national television to say that I am working very well with people who have staged a coup on me. Let me correct this, the commander in chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was Mugabe and he was the only one with the power to say there is a coup and for anyone to suggest that it’s criminal and it’s treasonous.
It was a smooth transition where no blood was spilled (sic) and when you are asked where was the coup where is the evidence from the former President? It is clear that no such a thing ever happened.
Following Mnangagwa’s inauguration, High Court judge president Justice George Chiweshe ruled that the military takeover was constitutional and well within the law.
The Africam Union has also said that there was no coup declaring that there was no loss of life during the transition. The AU said that the military takeover was just dialogue between national leaders. However, former cabinet minister and alleged Generation 40 (G40) Faction mastermind Jonathan Moyo has disputed this assertion. Moyo has said that lives were lost and that it is a lie to describe the military takeover as “bloodless.”
More: New Zimbabwe