Zanu-PF MPs summoned over Robert Mugabe impeachment

Trevor Jackson
November 21, 2017

The party's deputy secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana is speaking to reporters as ruling party lawmakers gather.

When Zimbabwe's military sent tanks into the capital, Harare, and took President Robert Mugabe into custody almost a week ago, it was clear they wanted a quick resolution to the growing discontent with the longtime president.

Mugabe's nephew Patrick Zhuwao was quoted by worldwide media as saying his uncle and his wife were prepared to die for what they regard as correct.

Analysts have suggested that Mr Mugabe's infamously stubborn character could also be hindering the conclusion of a deal between the president and the army.

The bishops further called on all Zimbabweans to avoid utterances that could further inflame tensions and lead the country towards a precipice. "He has up to noon today or face impeachment".

It is not clear how long impeachment would take.

"It's absolutely astounding. Mugabe behaves as if nothing ZANU-PF said (Sunday) was of any relevance", he told AFP.

His freaky performance prompted several interpretations, including that he had deliberately missed out the page tendering his resignation or that he had refused to show the generals what he was going to say before going live on air.

However, the party may not have the numbers in Parliament to impeach the sitting president.

Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa said the war veterans association had instituted court action to legalize the military action against Mugabe after the army seized power from him last Wednesday.

Perhaps he would then say that in his country's interests and for the sake of future generations‚ he would make way to allow a process of peaceful transition. That person would then be head of state until the next election scheduled for next year.

Analysts gave quiet respect for Mr Mugabe's tactical skills, even if they worry his latest manoeuvres have brought tensions in Zimbabwe that much closer to a boiling point.

James Slack says that "we don't yet know how developments in Zimbabwe are going to play out".

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe

Mugabe's wife, Grace (52), who had forced her way into the party as the women's league chairperson in 2014 after expelling several people, was banned from Zanu-PF for life.

Derek Matyszak, an analyst at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, said Mugabe's address raised the stakes even further.

More than 200 out of the 300-strong member central committee attended yesterday's meeting to decide Mugabe's fate.

The impeachment is not the only plan of action set for Tuesday, to force Mugabe to step down.

Amid the political confusion, the government on Monday urged Cabinet ministers to pursue business as usual.

Zimbabweans were stunned by Mr Mugabe's defiance during a national address on Sunday night in which the increasingly isolated president, put under military house arrest last week, had been expected to step down.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was dumbstruck.

November 15: The military announces that Mugabe is under house arrest and an operation has begun to arrest "criminals" around him who harmed the economy.

"Your time is up", veterans' association leader Chris Mutsvangwa said at a press conference.

Mugabe meets the army chiefs before making a defiant televised address in which he shows no sign of leaving, frustrating widespread hopes he would resign.

Mugabe's speech capped an extraordinary weekend that saw Zimbabweans celebrate and vent their anger in ways that, just a week earlier, would have been brutally repressed.

Impeachment could see Mugabe kicked out by a vote in parliament in under a day and would represent an ignominious end to the career of the "Grand Old Man" of African politics, who was once lauded across the continent as an anti-colonial hero. Mugabe has been stripped of his party leadership but said in Sunday night's speech he would preside over a party congress next month.

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Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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