Member of Zimbabwe’s elite parabat squad, or special forces, check identity particulars of civilians in Harare. Picture: SUPPLED
Member of Zimbabwe’s elite parabat squad, or special forces, check identity particulars of civilians in Harare. Picture: SUPPLED

The Southern African Democratic Development Community (Sadc) should stay away from Zimbabwe’s affairs and allow the country’s citizens to handle their transitional process‚ Dumiso Dabengwa‚ the country’s former head of Intelligence said on Friday.

Speaking to journalists in Johannesburg‚ Dabengwa said he was not impressed with Sadc’s track record in most areas where they were required to resolve conflicts. "Sadc has not been able to successfully resolve [issues] without being prejudiced in one way or the other‚" he said.

He slammed the group for tolerating what he labelled President Robert Mugabe’s breach of Zimbabwe’s constitution and lambasted countries who had labelled the military actions as unlawful‚ saying they had failed to intervene when Mugabe refused to implement the transformational road map he had agreed to, which had been suggested by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

"I don’t know whether this time there will be a move but [Sadc] should allow people like the military who want to change the situation in Zimbabwe for the better of the people."

Zimbabweans were reportedly protesting outside the South African embassy in Zimbabwe on Friday.

"It is people’s frustrations after yesterday’s visit by the South African envoy that tried to mediate. Immediately after that‚ Mugabe who was under house arrest‚ is seen going to university. This has frustrated people‚" said Dabengwa‚ adding that citizens were questioning whether Sadc’s intervention was taking them backwards.

Dabengwa further slammed Sadc for what he said were threats of intervention to the military if they did not free Mugabe. The Zimbabwean president was holed up in his house for two days as the military negotiated with him‚ to convince him to relinquish power to a capable successor — and not his wife Grace.

"He certainly will not [relinquish power] easily but I think it will be the people who will show him that he is no longer wanted. We do hope that the Botswana conference [Sadc consultations] did not give him the expectation that Sadc was going to come to his rescue‚ nor the [African Union] nor the UN‚" he said, stressing that what the military had done was anything but a coup.

He was confident the army would relinquish power as soon as a suitable transformational leadership is agreed upon. "They only had one intention and that is to stop the ascendance of Grace into power‚" he said, praising the military as being professional in their approach. "There could have been chaos but no one was injured or killed. And even before they did anything else‚ they requested him to step down."

Dabengwa‚ who is in SA to establish his foundation aimed at educating the Zimbabwean youth about the country’s independence struggles‚ said he would be heading home on Monday. While in SA‚ he has been in talks with the Zimbabwean politicians who, he claims, have suggested he be part of the transitional government.

Dabengwa stressed that he would need to consult his family, but he was ready to take up the challenge.

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