Dexter: Mugabe should go, or be ‘forcibly removed’

If Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will not step down voluntarily he should be removed by force, senior Congress of the People (Cope) member Philip Dexter said on Tuesday.

South Africa should support the people of Zimbabwe to achieve this objective, he told journalists at a Cape Town Press Club lunch.

Dexter was responding to a question on how the African National Congress breakaway party would address the crisis in Zimbabwe.

”From my point of view the only way to solve the Zimbabwe problem at this point is to put enough pressure on Mugabe for him to go. And he should either go voluntarily, or he should go by being forcibly removed. And I think we have to support the Zimbabwean people to achieve that objective,” Dexter said.

His comments came a day after hundreds of Zimbabwe army soldiers rampaged through Harare, looting shops and clashing with police.

”We are suffering, we are not fighting the people but the bosses,” one soldier reportedly told onlookers.

Responding to questions on his party’s economic policies, Dexter said South Africa’s inflation targets needed to be changed upwards.

”Inflation targeting in and of itself is not a bad thing. The debate is … are the current targets appropriate? If they were a few months ago, certainly after the global meltdown, I don’t think it would be wise to say that we are in a position where we can leave the targets as they are.

”A big jump in the targets would not be a good thing, but widening the bands slightly is probably the route to go. And not moving the lower indicator, but rather looking at giving some room at the top.”

The lower and upper limits of South Africa’s inflation targets are currently set at 3% to 6%.

On the global markets meltdown, and its impact on South Africa, he said there were two schools of thought.

”One is that we’re going to get hammered, and the world is going to change fundamentally and we’re all going to be paupers.

”I’m not so sure about this. I think it’s going to have a contracting effect … but the fact that we’re focused and prudent about economic policy means that we’re in a much stronger position than most developing countries,” he said.

In a statement issued later on Tuesday, Dexter said the view he had expressed on the Zimbabwe situation had been his own, and it was incorrect to say Cope supported the removal of Mugabe by force. – Sapa

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Richard Davies
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