Monday, 10 December, 2018

We want him gone! Zimbabweans react after Mugabe declines to surrender peacefully

An unemployed man reads up on Zimbabwean constitutional law to understand the process of possible presidential impeachment in a park opposite the parliament building in downtown Harare Zimbabwe Tuesday Nov. 21 2017. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Zimbabwe's ruling party meeting to expel Robert Mugabe
Andrew Cummings | 21 November, 2017, 01:05

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from British rule in 1980.

Robert Mugabe has rubbed the noses of his opponents in his decision not to resign, by ordering weekly cabinet meetings every Tuesday at State House, his official residence.

The pendulum swung further against the president on Sunday, when ZANU-PF dismissed him as its leader and demanded he resign as head of state, naming Mnangagwa as the new party chief. His wife, Grace, was also expelled from the party.

Zanu-PF also said it wanted to change the constitution to reduce the power of the president, a possible sign of its desire to move towards a more pluralistic and inclusive political system. "Zimbabweans have tolerated his nonsense for too long, and sooner or later, they may just decide to say we are removing you", added Mr Gutto.

Zimbabwe's constitution provides four grounds for impeaching a president or vice president: serious misconduct; failure to obey, uphold or defend the constitution; willful violation of the constitution; or inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or mental incapacity.

Mugabe fires Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to resolve a succession dispute.

But impeaching Mugabe, who is the only leader most Zimbabweans have ever known, would require a two thirds-majority in both houses of Zimbabwe's parliament which is due to resume on Tuesday.

"The wish of the military is that he should be allowed to go with dignity", said Simbi Mubako, a professor and former close associate of Mr Mugabe.

The 93-year-old leader defied expectations last night that he would resign in a televised "exit speech".

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Mugabe ploughed on for a few more minutes‚ rounding up by saying: "We must learn to forgive and resolve contradictions‚ real or perceived‚ in a comradely Zimbabwean spirit". "We will go for impeachment and we are calling people back to the streets", he told AFP.

Matuke was speaking after the party caucus members met on Monday afternoon to discuss the impeachment proceedings against Mugabe after he failed to resign by the noon deadline.

"We are going to try and work flat out until midnight to ensure we do all the processes so we can finish before Wednesday", he said.

The military says Mugabe and Mnangagwa have made contact and will talk when the fired deputy returns to Zimbabwe "shortly".

Moments after his address, war veterans' leader Chris Mutsvangwa said they would lead public protests in the streets of Harare.

Instead, Mugabe claimed the widely publicized military takeover was not a challenge to his authority.

"The process is tedious and it might take some days".

Opposition MP, James Maridadi confirmed that Parliament will sit at 2.30pm on Tuesday, while Zanu PF has chose to carry out their impeachment threat after Mugabe defied the Monday midday deadline to step down.

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