No cause for excitement on Zimbabwe’s military ‘coup’—Zimbabwe human rights lawyer


A leading Zimbabwean Human Rights Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has said that Zimbabweans should not expect any change if people that are demanding change remain the same people who have been with President Robert Mugabe the last 37 years.

Mtetwa made the observation in an exclusive interview with Malawi News on the sidelines of the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Her remarks come just a day after Mugabe made his first public appearance since the military in Zimbabwe took charge of state affairs, in a move which the military has refused to call a coup.


International media reports that Mugabe attended a university graduation ceremony on the outskirts of Harare.

The Guardian of UK reports that he was applauded as he announced the opening of the ceremony.

“Whatever is happening in Zimbabwe should not excite Zimbabweans because at the end of the situation, if Mugabe agrees to step down, the same people that have been dining with Mugabe for over 37 years will be the same people remaining in power hence there will be no change, ”Mtetwa said


According to Mtetwa although everyone is waiting for the outcome of the discussions that are taking place the matrix in the whole issue is that the Zimbabwe constitution clearly stipulates that if the president steps down the vice president will have to act and all internal arrangement should be made before conducting an election.

She said with the current scenario where the vice president is supposed to take over, and that he is the same person who fought with Mugabe for Zimbabwe liberation people should not expect any change from Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mtetwa said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been unable to fruitfully handle previous situations in Zimbabwe describing the body as toothless made up of leaders who are bent on promoting their own selfish interests.

“I remember in 2008 a call was made to the body to intervene on the situation by then, but it was not possible, the body chose to coverup for Mugabe, it is worrisome to have bodies that cannot find solutions to problems that are happening in Zimbabwe as well as in the region,” she said.

However, delivering a key note address during the Memoriam of Carlos Cardoso, a Mozambican investigative journalist who was assassinated by people connected to the then Mozambican government, Mtetwa said investigative journalists are very important in any democracy as they reveal rotten issues happening in the countries.

She advised investigative journalists attending the 10th Global Investigative Journalism Conference to emulate what Carlos Cadoso was doing by digging up real issues that are affecting peoples lives around the world.

“Investigative journalism is not about being glorified, it’s not about money its about passion,” Mtetwa said.

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