Members of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Africa subcommittee say they are concerned about the Zimbabwe Defence Forces' actions following its intervention in Zanu PF's succession battles and apparent toppling of President Robert Mugabe.
In a statement, senators Chris Coons (Democrat Delaware), Jeff Flake (Republican - Arizona), Cory Booker (Democrat -New Jersey), and Johnny Isakson (Republican Georgia), said the military should protect all citizens and adhere to democratic processes.
"For nearly four decades, Zimbabweans have suffered under the authoritarian rule of President Robert Mugabe, a dictator who has repressed his people and presided over the economic deterioration of his country. While a change in leadership is long overdue, we are concerned about the military’s actions.
"We urge the leaders of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces to ensure the protection of all citizens and a transparent return to civilian control. As the country grapples with a new political reality, Zimbabwe’s leaders must adhere to democratic processes and establish a mechanism for the peaceful transfer of power that is consistent with Zimbabwe’s Constitution and the will of its people."
They further urged the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to mediate a democratic process "that reinforces the rule of law, promotes economic reforms, and respects the human rights of all Zimbabweans.”
USA imposed targeted sanctions on President Mugabe and his inner circle for human rights violations and electoral fraud.
The military imposed a house arrest for the 93 year old Zimbabwe leader after it seized all critical state institutions on Tuesday claiming that they want to arrest rogue state officials and Zanu PF officials surrounding Mr. Mugabe, who axed his deputy Emerson Mnangagwa a couple of days ago, claiming that he is untrustworthy.
Mnangagwa fled to South Africa vowing to come back home to topple Mugabe, address factionalism gripping the ruling Zanu PF party and other national problems.
He allegedly led a faction of the party known as Team Lacoste while First Lady Grace Mugabe is said to be leading another one called Generation 40. The two were fighting over the succession of Mr. Mugabe.