Julius Malema urges Zimbabweans to reclaim country from ‘kleptocracy’
South Africa’s second-largest opposition party, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, has warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration against frequent “pretentious” elections and urged Zimbabweans to fight and reclaim the country from “kleptocracy”.
Malema on Saturday, addressed thousands of EFF supporters at the party’s 10th anniversary held at the FNB Stadium in Soweto.
Due to bad governance, corruption and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, thousands of citizens have left the country to South Africa for greener pastures.
Malema was asked on the sidelines of the anniversary celebrations to state his message to the suffering Zimbabweans scattered around the world.
He urged them to fight Mnangagwa’s “criminal” regime.
“They must never despair. They must continue to fight for their country and reclaim it from kleptocracy and a criminality that has hijacked Zimbabwe.
“We want the Zimbabweans to fight to take over their own country. We want the international community to lift the sanctions and allow Zimbabwe to work again.
“These people that are saying there are Zimbabweans all over are the ones who should be matching in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe and demanding free and fair elections in Zimbabwe,” he said.
With Zimbabwe set to hold harmonised general elections in three weeks’ time, Malema slammed authorities for what he called “pretentious elections”.
“This thing of pretentious elections is not going to work. It is not going to deliver the much needed confidence that Zimbabweans need now from the international community to lift the sanctions.
“The Zimbabweans must never despair. They must continue to fight for their country,” the 42 year old popular politician said.
Zimbabwe has a history of conducting disputed elections for over two decades marred by political violence, intolerance and manipulation.
The country will hold the plebiscite on the 23rd of August. But critics and analysts have already discredited the referendum accusing the election management body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), of manipulating elections in favour of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Adding to this is the recent disqualification of the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)’s 12 Bulawayo parliamentary candidates on a controversial basis that they allegedly submitted their nomination papers after a 4pm deadline.
Commenting about the pre-election environment in Zimbabwe, human rights lawyer Siphosami Malunga said:
“Never in Zimbabwe’s 43 year-old history has an election been so irretrievably discredited, ZEC so compromised, the electoral process so flawed and manipulated and the outcome so delegitimised prior to the first ballot being cast. This is no election. It’s a sham. The cost will be high!”