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article imageZimbabwe's MDC opposition hails war veterans' Mugabe rebuke

By AFP     Jul 22, 2016 in World

Zimbabwe's main opposition on Friday praised war veterans for "finally seeing the light" after the long-time allies of President Robert Mugabe denounced him as "dictatorial".

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) "would like to whole-heartedly thank and salute (the) war veterans for publicly acknowledging that Robert Mugabe has outlived his relevance and should immediately proceed to resign," it said in a statement.

In a sign of growing opposition to Mugabe, the war veterans who have in the past supported the nonagenarian leader, on Thursday issued a strongly-worded statement denouncing Mugabe and his regime for brutal attacks on his opponents and for presiding over a failing economy.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association said they had noted "with concern, shock and utter dismay the entrenchment of dictatorial tendencies, personified by the President and his cohorts which have slowly devoured the values of the liberation struggle in utter disregard of the constitution".

The war veterans vowed not to support Mugabe if he seeks re-election.

A rare surge of public demonstration has forced many onto the streets of the southern African country in recent weeks, triggered by an economic crisis that has left banks short of cash and the government struggling to pay its workers.

Zimbabwean cleric Evan Mawarire has spearheaded the popular "ThisFlag" internet campaign a...
Zimbabwean cleric Evan Mawarire has spearheaded the popular "ThisFlag" internet campaign and helped to organise a national strike
Jekesai Njikizana, AFP/File

The MDC called on the 92-year-old leader "to take heed of the very clear advice that he has been freely given by his erstwhile comrades, the war veterans".

"Mugabe remains the single biggest threat to Zimbabwe's national stability as well as economic prosperity," said the MDC.

Opposition to Mugabe's rule has grown in recent months as the country’s economic troubles mount while his ZANU-PF party is in turmoil over his succession.

The country has been hit by protests including a stay-away strike called by an evangelical pastor Evan Mawarire which shut offices and shops and crippled the public transport system.

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