By Maria Hovsepyan
YEREVAN. – The people of Zimbabwe are excited about the revolution in their country and have positive assessment of what has happened. This was stated by the former director of the WHO office in Zimbabwe Levon Arevshatyan, who lives in Zimbabwe since 1998, in a conversation with the Armenian News -NEWS.am correspondent.
Mr. Arevshatyan, what is the reason for the military revolution in Zimbabwe? Why did the army take this step?
In principle, such events were expected, although it was difficult to predict when they would occur. It all began when the situation was already unbearable. The deterioration of the economic conditions, the abolishment of the national currency - all this resulted in the country being in a very bad economic situation. People could not get their accumulated deposits from banks. They had to wait all night to take at least 30-40 dollars of their own money in the morning. The second reason is corruption, in which some people from the presidents’ milieu are suspected, but they are already detained.
In addition, the president of the country, who is 93, allowed his 52-year-old wife “to get into” Zimbabwe's politics and make firm decisions, one of which was the dismissal of the vice-president and government ministers. This last step simply outraged former veterans who were fighting together with Mugabe. These two facts have led people to revolution.
Did the army act alone or there was interference of vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa or other forces?
The contradictions between the wife of Zimbabwe president and the vice-president have been observed for a long time. They have been recently engaged in a conflicts of words which resulted in depriving Mnangagwu of his position and of his place in the party.
What is the situation in Zimbabwe now? What is the attitude of the people like?
People are enthusiastic about these decisions, and they have positive assessment of everything that had happened. Several million protesters a gathered in different cities yesterday to celebrate the military intervention, which was peaceful and bloodless. The violence was applied only to those ministers who were detained on corruption charges. All other issues were the brilliantly organized and solved by the army. This is an exceptional phenomenon, when the people are so respectful towards the army. On the streets, people even stop soldiers to clean their shoes. It already speaks volume.
Is there opposition force that can replace the incumbent government? Who, in your opinion, will become the president of Zimbabwe?
It’s hard to make any predictions, the elections will show the results. But before that there must be an interim government. According to many people, Mnangagwa can become the president of Zimbabwe.
P.S. The interview with Mr. Arevshatyan was recorded when it was not yet known that Zimbabwe’s ruling “African National Union Party (ZANU-PF)” decided to nominate Mnangagwa as a president.