Zim residents in Bloem react to military takeover

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was seen meeting on Thursday with the army commanders who put him under house arrest, as negotiations with a South African delegation and a Catholic priest at the state house pushed for a resolution to the political turmoil and the likely end to Mugabe's decades-long rule. The meeting was attended by Commander General Constantino Chiwenga of the Zimbabwe Defence Force, Father Fidelis Mukonori, South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister

South African envoys are in Harare to help with negotiations to form a new government and decide the terms of Mugabe’s resignation. South Africa called an emergency meeting of the Southern African Development Community regional bloc, which got under way in Botswana. Opposition officials told the Guardian they believed Mugabe would resign on Friday, allowing Mnangagwa to be appointed president, with Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, serving as prime minister in a transitional government that would have a three- to five-year term. Speculations indicates that the outgoing president and his family would be offered protection in his retirement, though Grace Mugabe is expected to leave Zimbabwe. Members of the first lady’s G40 faction, who were detained during the military takeover, would be prosecuted in accordance with the law, the officials said.

Meanwhile Dumelang News spoke to two of the Zimbabweans living in the City of Roses following this week’s developments in their home country. According to Tinashe, not her real name, there is a great need for  new leadership in Zimbabwe, calling for a president that will work towards improving the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans. “(Robert) Mugabe has been the president from since I was young and now I am a grown woman and he is still the president. I fully support what the military has done, I just wish we could see a different face in the presidency,” said Tinashe.

She however said that Mugabe’s wife is not the right person to run what was the revolutionary movement, ZANU–PF and the country. “What Zimbabwe needs is God, we just have to pray for that country and not only Zim, but other African countries as well,” said Tinashe who runs a hair salon in downtown Bloemfontein. Her sentiments were also echoed by her fellow country woman who wishes to return home without fear of victimisation by the government. “We all know what has happened in the past with Zim and how the economy was crashed by a man who once was the Zimbabwean hero,” said Anaishe also not her real name.

The two women did not want to be named and pictured fearing that they will be victimised together with their families back at home. According to Anaishe, she was running a successful business before running to South Africa for refuge. “I have money in the bank back home and I cannot use it because everyone wants cash which remains a huge challenge to send money home,” said Anaishe

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