Britain offers help for Zimbabwe after Mugabe 'oppression'

File The Department of Home Affairs has dismissed reports it will no longer renew permits for Zimbabweans in South Africa

Mugabe resigned Tuesday following military takeover of government and protests by Zimbabweans for him to resign.

However, another academic, Dr. John Akokpari from the University of Cape Town, said South Africa should seriously consider giving Mugabe asylum as the country was Zimbabwe's biggest trading partner in the region.

"It reflects the importance of Zimbabwe psychologically to the United Kingdom, and the government attempt to show leadership among Western governments in how to respond to the leadership change there", he said.

Cars began honking horns and people cheered in the streets of Harare as the news spread. British Prime Minister Theresa May said Robert Mugabe's resignation yesterday gave Zimbabwe "an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule", and declared Britain stood ready to help.

Zimbabwe is due to hold national elections no later than September 2018.

Mnangagwa fled to South Africa in self-imposed exile after he was removed from the post of vice president by Mugabe earlier this month.

"President Mugabe condoned human rights violations, defended criminal actions of his officials and allowed a culture of impunity for grotesque crimes to thrive".

The Foreign Secretary said it was now a matter for Zimbabweans to decide what happens to Mr Mugabe and his wife Grace.

"The immediate priority is to ensure that Zimbabwe has a legitimate government, appointed through free and fair elections in accordance with the constitution".

Van Nieuwkerk said global human rights activists would come hard after Mugabe, 93, and force him to stand trial for the crimes he committed in the 1980s when over 20 000 Zimbabweans were killed in the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and parts of Midlands provinces.

"No African should rejoice over the resignation of Comrade Robert Mugabe".

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