The military’s peaceful takeover in Zimbabwe and rejection of President Robert Mugabe is an encouraging step towards political change, US Senator Jim Inhofe said in a statement.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Senator Jim Inhofe said on Wednesday he was encouraged by the reports of a “peaceful action by the Zimbabwean military to reject the brutal and restrictive dictatorship of President Mugabe”.
“I am cautiously optimistic that the military’s apparent efforts to restore differing viewpoints to the government will be an important step in that journey,” Inhofe said.
He called on the US government to work constructively with the new military rulers in Zimbabwe to establish freedom and democracy in the country.
“The United States should work with our partners in the region to support constructive efforts to bring much needed change to Zimbabwe’s political system that will allow the nation to once again see the stability and economic prosperity it was long known for and now so desperately needs,” he said.
Meanwhile, the African Union (AU) said it was deeply concerned with the situation in Zimbabwe and called for the restoration of constitutional order in the country, AU chairperson Alpha Conde said Wednesday.
On Wednesday, media reported that Zimbabwe’s military is holding the country’s president, Robert Mugabe, and his guards hostage. On Tuesday, a column of armored vehicles have left military units and headed for the capital city of Harare. Media also said that there had been explosions in the city. The military then stated that their actions did not constitute a seizure of power and instead targeted “criminals.”
“The African Union with all the possible hardness condemns the actions that look like a coup and reiterates its support for the legitimate authorities in the country,” Conde, who is also Guinea’s president, said in a statement.
In early November, Mugabe dismissed Emmerson Mnangagwa, the first vice president of Zimbabwe, who was thought to become Mugabe’s successor and enjoyed the support of the country’s army. On Monday, Constantine Chiwenga, the commander of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, called on the president to stop the purge within the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party, from which Mnangagwa had been expelled.