Zimbabwe latest: Emmerson Mnangagwa urges Mugabe to quit now

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Zimbabwe’s former vice-president, whose sacking led to last week’s army takeover, has urged President Robert Mugabe to resign immediately.

Emmerson Mnangagwa said he fled abroad two weeks ago when he learned of a plot to kill him, and he would not return until he was sure of his security.

The ruling Zanu-PF party is expected to begin impeachment proceedings in parliament later on Tuesday.

Mr Mugabe is accused of allowing his wife to “usurp constitutional power”.

Speaking from an undisclosed location on Tuesday, Mr Mnangagwa said the 93-year-old president should heed the “clarion call” of his people and step down.

“I told the President that I would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired,” he said in a statement.

Zimbabwe at crossroads – full coverage

Mr Mnangagwa’s dismissal earlier this month was seen by many as clearing the way for Mr Mugabe’s wife Grace wife to succeed him as leader.

The move riled top army officials, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest, though he nominally remains the president.

Emmerson Mnangagwa (January 2017 picture)Image copyrightAFP
Image captionMany in Zanu-PF want Emmerson Mnangagwa to be the next president

Vicious power struggle

Andrew Harding, BBC News, Harare

Emmerson Mnangagwa more or less accused President Mugabe of trying to have him killed. The statement from the former vice-president gave an extraordinary insight into the vicious power struggles that preceded last week’s military intervention here.

Mr Mnangagwa said his security guards had warned him of plans to “eliminate” him, after he was sacked earlier this month. He promptly fled to South Africa.

On Monday night Zimbabwe’s army generals claimed that Mr Mnangagwa had agreed to return home as part of a transitional roadmap.

That roadmap now sounds like wishful thinking, as parliament here prepares to impeach the president, and Mr Mnangagwa angrily demands that his former boss respects the will of the people or faces humiliation.

What is President Mugabe accused of?

Impeachment in Zimbabwe can only occur in specific scenarios, on grounds of “serious misconduct”, “violation” of the constitution or “failure to obey, uphold or defend” it, or “incapacity”.

On Monday, Zanu-PF member of parliament Paul Mangwana said: “The main charge is that he has allowed his wife to usurp constitutional power when she has no right to run government.”

“He has refused to implement the constitution of Zimbabwe – particularly we had elections for the provincial councils, but up to now they have not been put into office.”

How would the impeachment process unfold?

It would start with a motion, to be presented as early as Tuesday afternoon, laying out the charges against Mr Mugabe and his wife.

If – as is likely – the motion is approved by a 50% majority in a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the Senate, a committee from both chambers will be appointed to investigate.

Should the committee support the charges, the president can then be removed if both houses back them with two-thirds majorities.

Paul Mangwana said the process could be fast-tracked and completed by Wednesday, “because the charges are so clear”. But others insist the process should take longer.

Tendai Biti, a leading member of the opposition MDC, told the BBC that the constitution allows for a fair hearing, and “Mugabe as the accused person will obviously be entitled to legal representation”.

The full process, Mr Biti added, could take between one and three weeks. If the impeachment is fast-tracked, he said, “the process will not be legitimate or credible”.

What happens if Mr Mugabe is removed?

He will be replaced by the vice-president . The military, which supports Mr Mnangagwa, would like to see him step into that role.

But when he was removed from office, Phelekezela Mphoko – a known supporter of Grace Mugabe – became vice-president, and in theory would assume the presidential role.

It is not clear if Mr Mnangagwa could be restored to his former position, and military leaders simply said the public would “be advised on the outcome of talks” between Mr Mugabe and his former deputy.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. The people of Zimbabwe have rejected Mr. Mugabe. He should leave. He is not wanted anymore. The will of the people must be respected.

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    • Munangagwa is a foooool, let people work for you, why get back in limelight? Stay silent.
      You almost got popular.

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    • The old man got drunk with power and treated the country like a personal possession. He let power get to his head and forgot he was captain of the ship, elected into that position by the sailors! The sailors withdrew their support when they realised the captain was overstepping his mandated authority and totally strayed away from the course. He now cannot come to terms with the fall from “grace”. Wings clipped, old, and no friend or crony to lean on, he is a sorry sight and his departure will not be dignified. Even his profile as a “liberator” is sullied.

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    • This is where you all got it wrong!

      The old wily fox will come out the other end having straightened this out!
      He has shown NO FEAR!!! The Mnangagwa’s have fled with tails in between legs!!!
      How could “Ng’wena” be so scared to misread the situation if actually the army is backing him???? Even now when the army & party are openly supporting him, he WANT’S REASSURANCE from the old fox that he won’t be killed??
      So all these years, he could go about instilling fear in people & earning the moniker “Ng’wena!” simply becoz the old fox let him loose – on his own – lacks a spine!! What a disaster, if he is the person they are looking to replace the old fox! As it is, as scared as he is, he will turn out to be more ruthless as he will be afraid of even his own shadow!! The old fox…

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    • –The old fox has played it such that he really has not much to lose at 93 – for who ever tries to kill him , will be a pariah forever – killing the national hero. The fox will now try to use constitutional means to let this run – meaning presiding over the party conference & then hopefully make it to elections next year. He will simply refer the agitators to courts for resolution – if their impeachment cases are weak, he stays in power, after which he will resuscitate his intelligence wing to do some “laundry” – cleaning up all those that have shown their ‘cards’ against him!!

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  2. BBC is FAKE NEWS. And this coward should stop causing confusion in Zimbabwe. He’s the one who was caught plotting a coup now he wants to claim victimisation. You will be arrested for treason you fool. Just stay where you are and don’t come back to Zimbabwe.

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  3. I would like to know what exactly Mugabe and his wife say to each other especially now. ‘Don’t resign darling we will survive this and punish them’. ‘Don’t worry baby these f**ls cant fire me. i am not gong anywhere’.
    How can one family think they are more intelligent than the millions of other citizens in the whole country. Hasn’t anyone been showing them the news?

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  4. This is usually the case when laws are created to preserve an elite group. Zimbabweans were made to believe that evil men are the colonialist , imperialist and capitalist. Whatever Mugabe was holy truth and all Zimbabwe owed him a living to his death. As long as he is still alive , He must rule Zimbabwe.
    Currently if Mugabe was a devil to this elite group , Mugabe could have killed by the soldiers. In Africa a military coup bring out complete change of government. This seemingly coup in Zimbabwe is where the elite military chiefs have a soft spot for sekuru.

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  5. I tend to agree with Rob Mwale. Zimbabweans seem to have, for a long time, believed that their main enemy were the colonisers. They did not pay any particular attention to their own, and this is where they ‘allowed’ the situation to get to this. The sacking of Mnangagwa was just a trigger – a lot of issues were bottled up and were just left to simmer over time.

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    • This what is happening in our country as well , feed the masses with imperialist and colonist coming back conspiracy theories, before we know it we will neck deep in economic sewer ponds.

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  6. RobMwale and MM, Zimbabweans have always known of the enemy within, but were silenced by a reign of terror. What people need to understand is that these same generals and this Mnangagwa are the guys who were Mugabe’s oppressive machinery, if not the guys behind it using Mugabe as a proxy leader. This is why for this revolution to succeed, people need to step up and make more demands beyond the agenda of the army, otherwise the army will just instal another one of their own who will protect their interests the same way that Mugabe did.

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  7. “President Mugabe said‚ ‘I’ve done everything for the army. I’ve given them land and therefore I do not expect that when there are problems that they would take to the streets but rather that they’d come to me and engage me.’”

    RobMwaale yo correct.lol

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  8. No. He is a shadow of himself. Watch him when he is speaking. He experiences some lapses in his speech. So how can he be in total control. That is why the army moved in to purge out those who were taking advantage of his situation ( old age and memory lapses) and not necessarily to take over from him.

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  9. Mugabe is daring the generals to escalate the situation….but they too do not want to rush things in case they lose power to the people……munangagwa and the rest are all part of mugabes group and mindset and are also interested in preserving power…..may be grace Mugabe was introducing a younger generation of politicians G40 group and the old guard felt threatened……it looks like the generals are interested in preserving the status quo without Mugabe…..

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    • The Generals staged a coup not because they wanted to protect the interest of the people but because their own interest was threatened. The Generals are looking for who will protect their interest and their sure stooge is Mnangagwa. So Mnangagwa is not coming in as a saviour for the people but as a preserve of the military elite. If he tries to be his own man, the same generals will take him out. So as things stand, Mnangagwa has no power of his own which will make the navigation of governance very trick.

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