United States Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, has praised Zimbabwe’s recent transfer of power, from former President Robert Mugabe, who led the country for 37-years, to his former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, following a military-led intervention.
“I think the positive moment for Zimbabwe was the peaceful transition to the extent that there was not a bloody coup. I am grateful for that,” said Congresswoman Lee.
Mr. Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, was forced to resign last month, after the military took over the state and held him under house arrest. Pressure also mounted from within Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party, which had begun impeachment proceedings against the former president, after recalling him as party leader.
Congresswoman Lee, currently serving her 11th term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, said what happens to the former leader, is now in the hands of the Zimbabwean people, but pledged continued U.S. support.
“The treatment of the elder statesman should be left to the Zimbabwean people, and we in the United States should look to stand up the country to help its citizens as much as possible,” she said.
Lee said going forward, she hoped for a better life for Zimbabweans, and urged the new government of President Mnangagwa to divest power to its citizens.
“I wish for Zimbabwe peace and a strong government for the people,” Lee said. “I hope the transition speaks not to power for one, but power for all of the people.”
Congresswoman Lee spoke during an event hosted by the African Union Mission to the United States, marking the achievements of Africa’s women leaders. The event featured presentations from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and former Malawian President, Joyce Banda.