Impeachment Process To Begin As Mugabe Remains Defiant
Defiant President Robert Mugabe could lose his 37-year grip on Zimbabwe within days, with a motion to impeach him on Tuesday’s parliament agenda introduced by the ruling ZANU-PF party.
The motion – which will be heard in a joint sitting of the lower and upper house – accuses Mugabe of being “the source of instability” within government and allowing his wife, First Lady Grace, to “usurp constitutional power”.
As laid out in Section 97 (3) of the Constitution, once the Senate and National Assembly have passed a resolution confirming the president should be removed from office, Mugabe could be stripped of his wide-ranging powers that many citizens say have caused untold suffering and hardship.
Douglas Gumbo, 54, who participated in Saturday’s mass march calling for Mugabe to resign, told Al Jazeera he was eager to watch the parliamentary session. House sittings are normally broadcast live on state television.
“He tried to run away from us on Sunday, but now he is cornered. It’s game over for him and I just can’t wait to see him and his wife go,” he said.
Impeachment requires a two-thirds majority of both the senate and the national assembly.
While the governing ZANU-PF party, which has turned against its leader, holds a parliamentary majority, it may have to team up with opposition legislators to make up the required numbers.
Dozens of ZANU-PF MPs have fled the country or gone into hiding facing army detention, following a military crackdown targeting “criminals” surrounding the veteran leader.
Meanwhile, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc is holding an extraordinary session on Tuesday to discuss the Zimbabwe situation in neighbouring Botswana, where the SADC is headquarters is located.
While the region’s leaders remain silent on Mugabe’s fate, Botswana’s President Ian Khama has openly called for the world’s oldest president to step down.
Also on Tuesday, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice president Mugabe sacked on November 6, reportedly joined calls for the leader to resign.
“The people of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice and it is my appeal to President Mugabe that he should take heed of this clarion call and resign forthwith so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy,” he said in a statement that has been circulating around local media.