Zimbabwe crisis: Opposition leader says it'll take five years to erase the stain of the Robert Mugabe regime'

Zimbabwe has been in crisis since troops took control of the country's key institutions

Robert Mugabe is reportedly still resisting calls to resign

Thursday, November 16, 2017

An opposition leader in Zimbabwe has said the removal of reviled dictator Robert Mugabe isn't a magic bullet for the country.

In fact, Albert Gumbo said he believes it will take five years to repair the damage done by Mugabe's 30-year regime.

Gumbo, secretary-general of the Alliance for the People's Agenda, spoke to talkRADIO as uncertainty continues to shroud Mugabe's future, with reports suggesting the strongman leader has refused to resign, despite the military removing him from power and taking over key institutions.

Gumbo said: "It’s not official that he has been deposed. They’re still talking, the negotiations are ongoing."

Although it seems almost impossible for Mugabe to return at this point, our interviewee suggesting it would not be impossible, saying "a week is a long time in politics. You never know."

The best-case scenario, Gumbo believes, is that a "neutral" person, someone who has no partisan interests, is installed until a fresh round of elections can be held next summer. Although some have demanded the return of former prime minister and long-time Mugabe opponent Morgan Tsvangirai, Gumbo believes this would not work as he would not be impartial.

Even if the 'best-case scenario' comes to pass, the APA leader believes Mugabe has caused a huge amount of damage to the Zimbabwean economy and political scene and there will be no quick-fix solution to these issues.

"We will need a minimum of five years and change the psyche of the system," Gumbo said. 

"The physical departure would be one thing, restoring the values of the people is another."