NEWS

Mugabe's Impeachment Is Not A Foregone Conclusion

Zanu-PF hopes to impeach Mugabe on Tuesday, but it will need opposition support.

21/11/2017 08:38 SAST | Updated 21/11/2017 08:56 SAST
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Zimbabwe's Commander Defense Forces General Constatntino Guveya Chiwenga (C) speaks during a press conference at the Tongogara Barracks on November 20, 2017 in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe faces impeachment proceedings in the Zimbabwean Parliament on Tuesday, after refusing to resign from his position as demanded by his party, Zanu-PF, on Sunday, The Times reported.

But Mugabe's exit and who will replace him are not a foregone conclusion, with fears that Zanu-PF will try to rush the impeachment proceedings without following constitutional requirements. The party will also need opposition support to impeach Mugabe, and this is not guaranteed.

The Times reported on Tuesday that, according to a source, the impeachment plan could be shelved if Zanu-PF could not agree on how to deal with the issue. The issue is further complicated by the fact that Zanu-PF will need the cooperation of the opposition MPs to impeach Mugabe, and some are reportedly not happy with the process.

Opposition leaders are reportedly unhappy with Zanu-PF's stance, that the issue is a Zanu-PF issue alone.

The opposition also has several demands that they will insist on before agreeing to the impeachment.

On Monday, Zanu-PF met to discuss the issue, particularly the issue of succession. Since Mugabe fired his vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the natural successor should be second vice-president Phelekeza Mphoko, who is in exile in Russia.

Mugabe would have to be persuaded to reappoint Mnangwagwa if he were to take over as president.

According to the BBC, MP Paul Mangwana said outside Parliament on Monday that Mugabe is a "stubborn man. He can hear the voice of the people but he is refusing to listen".

He reportedly said that Mugabe is accused of allowing his wife, Grace, to usurp constitutional power.

The impeachment process, if it goes ahead, could be completed by Wednesday "because the charges are so clear", he reportedly said.

Zanu-PF members are determined to get rid of Mugabe on Tuesday and seem confident of opposition support.

Zanu-PF MP Vongai Mupereni was quoted by News24 as saying, "We want to get rid of this animal called Mugabe. We have the numbers, the opposition is also going to support us."

The army, meanwhile, has called for calm as the situation unfolds.

Army chief Constantino Chiwenga reportedly said that there was good progress in the talks over Mugabe's exit. He added that Mnangwagwa was expected to arrive in the country soon.

"The security services are encouraged by new developments which include contact between the president and the former vice president... who is expected in the country shortly. Thereafter the nation will be advised of the outcome of talks between the two," he reportedly said.