Zanu-PF wants Mugabe impeachment 'done and dusted by Thursday'

22 November, 2017, 01:10 | Author: Kim Reid
  • 25 2014 Chinese President Xi Jinping right shows Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe the way during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing China. Under Robert Mugabe’s

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe faces the start of impeachment proceedings on Tuesday that could see him ousted within the week, against the backdrop of a military takeover dubbed "Operation Restore Legacy".

"The party has instructed the chief whip to proceed with impeachment processes", ZANU-PF said in a statement, with the motion due to be presented before parliament on Tuesday. "It would have created a huge amount of mess", one senior source within ZANU-PF told Reuters.

The 93-year-old Mugabe remained defiant in a national address Sunday night.

He stunned Zimbabweans in the rambling address by avoiding any mention of resignation.

A Zimbabwe ruling party official says it should take Parliament two days to impeach longtime President Robert Mugabe, who is resisting calls to step down.

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Now people in the country are said to be anxious about their country's fate, with more protests planned to put pressure on Mugabe to quit.

On Monday evening, army chief Constantino Chiwenga said that progress had been made in talks towards an apparent deal over Mugabe's exit.

First, the Senate and National Assembly must hold a joint sitting, and by simple majority vote decide if the president should be removed.

"As a result of the ongoing political uncertainty throughout the night and in consultation with the US Embassy and the actions of other organisations, the Women's University in Africa will remain closed", the university said.

With the deadline having come and gone, opposition activists and the influential war veterans association have announced that more demonstrations will take place, calling on Zimbabweans to take to the streets from tomorrow.

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Meanwhile, opposition is gathering pace within his own ranks, with eight out of the ten branches of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF taking to state television to demand he stand down.

According to Tendai Biti, former finance minister and lawyer, the best scenario would have been for Mugabe to resign since impeachment is not a one-day process.

Constitutional law expert and University of Zimbabwe law professor Lovemore Madhuku says impeachment means charging an office holder with misconduct and removing him from office if he is found guilty.

Despite his fragile health, Mugabe had previously said he would stand in elections next year that could have kept him in power until he was almost 100 years old. "They can submit Mnangagwa as the person they have nominated and say in accordance with the constitution, this is the person we have nominated". Mugabe fired Emmerson Mnangagwa earlier this month, starting this crisis.

However, George Charamba, Mr Mugabe's spokesman and possible drafter of the speech, told the Financial Times before the president went on air on Sunday that the generals were not seeking Mr Mugabe's resignation.

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On Sunday, Mugabe was sacked as Zanu-PF party leader and replaced by one-time comrade turned arch-rival Mnangagwa. That would complicate any efforts to install Emmerson Mnangagwa as president, as many Zimbabweans expect.

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