‘Two presidents who failed to read the mood’: Zimbabweans react to #ZumaRecall

‘Two presidents who failed to read the mood’: Zimbabweans react to #ZumaRecall

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A South African government handout photo shows Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairman, South African President Jacob Zuma (L), hugging Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on June 20, 2009 in Johannesburg as Southern African leaders opened a special summit to seek to end a lingering political crisis in Madagascar with a call to warring politicians to start an "inclusive dialogue." Zuma is hosting the 15-member bloc meeting over the army-backed ouster of president Madagascar Marc Ravalomanana. AFP PHOTO / Unati Ngamntwini / AFP PHOTO / South African government / Unati Ngamntwini

Harare – Zimbabweans have taken to Twitter to express their views on South Africa’s unfolding political drama, and many see parallels with the one that gripped their own country when Robert Mugabe was removed from office three months ago.

With another president apparently defying calls to step down, locals have been observing developments south of the Limpopo with a certain sense of déjà vu.

‘Asante sana moment’

Tweeted businessman and church leader, Shingi Munyeza: “South Africa is currently having its ‘ASANTE SANA’ moment.” That’s a reference to the words Mugabe used to end a highly-anticipated press conference in the wake of last year’s military takeover at which he was expected to resign but didn’t. 

Tobias Sibanda suggested both Zuma and Mugabe were two presidents who “failed to read the mood and accept their time was up”.

Writing on Twitter, Sibanda said that just as Zuma has insisted he should stay in office for a few extra months, Mugabe believed he would still be in office to chair a special party congress in December.

Some wondered whether Zuma’s recall would be the fate that awaits every South African president in the future.

Said @bmusonza: “This is a dodgy constitutional order. Cyril Ramaphosa must know he also faces the same fate. I’d rather have the Zimbabwean situation.”

‘What goes around comes around’

Prominent law lecturer Alex Magaisa tweeted a picture of a September 2008 story on Thabo Mbeki’s recall from the presidency, next to a clip of a Tuesday story on Zuma’s recall.

Commented Magaisa: “The definition of what goes around comes around.”

Baynham Goredema, a Zimbabwean based in South Africa, tweeted: “I have weird respect for Jacob Zuma. Hate him or love him he plays the political game well. One day we just woke up and Mbeki wasn’t president. Just like that. Not so with JZ.”

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