Embattled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is not having it easy as an impeachment process has been instituted against him. The defiant ruler who for 37 years has held the Zimbabwean people in his iron grip isn’t willing to go down with a fight although sources claim he could be out in a few days.
The ruling party ZANU-PF party today Tuesday moved a motion to impeach him on the parliament’s agenda which they are the major drivers of. Sources claim that Mugabe could be on his way out in a few days as the motion which was moved against him in the impeachment process was that he had made himself the source of instability in the oft-drought-ravaged country.
The ruling party claims that Mugabe has lost touch with governance as he is now a threat to the nation and has made government a laughing stock as he allowed his wife, First Lady Grace to usurp constitutional power. The motion is billed to be heard in a joint sitting of the lower and upper house.
The constitution allows for the Senate and National Assembly to pass a resolution that can begin the impeachment process against the President from office and in the case of Mugabe, many of his countrymen are not having the best of times under his leadership.
The article of the constitution that backs the Senate and National Assembly:
“The Senate and the National Assembly, by a joint resolution passed by at least one-half of their total membership, may resolve that the question whether or not the President or a Vice-President should be removed from office for–
a. serious misconduct;
b. failure to obey, uphold or defend this Constitution;
c. wilful violation of this Constitution; or
d. inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or
mental incapacity; should be investigated in terms of this section.
2. Upon the passing of a resolution in terms of subsection (1), the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must appoint a joint committee of the Senate and the National Assembly consisting of nine members reflecting the political composition of Parliament, to investigate the removal from office of the President or Vice-President, as the case may be.
a. the joint committee appointed in terms of subsection (2) recommends the removal from office of the President or Vice-President; and
b. the Senate and the National Assembly, by a joint resolution passed by at least two-thirds of their total membership, resolve that the President or Vice-President, as the case may be, should be removed from office;
the President or Vice-President thereupon ceases to hold office.”
For the impeachment process to succeed, it requires a two-thirds majority of both the Senate and the National Assembly.
Sources claim that many on the streets are hoping the motion goes through so they can be rid of the 37-year old government. This though, may not be as easy as it sounds. Although ZANU-PF party, holds a majority in parliament, it may have to team up with the opposition in order to get the required numbers to vote Mugabe out.
It will be recalled that the Zimbabwean Army said during the takeover that they were not after Mugabe but after the criminal elements that surround him. This announcement has sparked fear in the polity as dozens of ZANU-PF MPs have either fled the country or gone into hiding in order to avoid facing detention.
Mugabe Disregards Impeachment Claim
Despite the military takeover of November 15 which placed Mugabe under house arrest, Robert Mugabe has not just disregarded demands for his resignation but also resisted the same stating that as far as he is concerned, it is still “business as usual”. He was so noncommital about it all that he even called for a cabinet meeting ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary session.
He even went ahead to have a national broadcast where he stated he would preside over the party’s upcoming extraordinary congress billed to hold next month.
If the impeachment process sails through it could see former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed as interim president.
The former vice-president who fled Zimbabwe on November 6 after a power struggle between himself and Lady Grace Mugabe was reinstated as ZANU-PF’s vice president and appointed interim party leader. Mugabe has been the party’s leader for years.
It remains to be seen what happens in Zimbabwe but we keep tabs on events as they unfold in the Southern African country
Image Credit: Kremlin