AN opposition lawmaker is fronting an audacious attempt to force President Robert Mugabe out of office through an impeachment motion that reportedly has gained support from ruling Zanu PF MPs, NewsDay can reveal.
Mabvuku-Tafara legislator, James Maridadi (MDC-T) is working on the process to impeach Mugabe with a motion set to be tabled on June 6, when Parliament resumes sitting.
Maridadi confirmed the move, but refused to discuss details.
“The fact that impeachment of a sitting Head of State is provided for in the Constitution means that it can be done within the provisions outlined therein. I should hasten to say impeaching a sitting Head of State is not a declaration of war, but a constitutional and polite way of asking that we be given an opportunity to elect someone else to that office,” he said.
While he was not forthcoming on the grounds on which Mugabe was to be impeached, NewsDay has gathered that the Zesa corruption scandal, in which shadowy businessman, Wicknell Chivayo was controversially awarded a $400 million solar power project, was one of the issues to be cited in the impeachment.
“The impeachment will use the corruption allegations as a basis. There are a lot of things that have been unearthed and documentary proof is readily available,” a source said.
The MDC-T is supporting the motion, the party’s secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora said.
“We have always argued that Mugabe is a strong candidate for impeachment because he has failed to account for at least $15 billion of the people’s money. He has abrogated the Constitution on more than one occasion and is no longer fit to hold office,” he said.
But Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo scoffed at the opposition move. “That is their business and we are not worried. They can get as much support as they can from anybody, but we are not bothered,” he said.
Maridadi said there were sufficient grounds to drag Mugabe through the impeachment process, giving the example of the failed move by South Africa’s opposition parties to force President Jacob Zuma out.
“I am convinced that I have sufficient grounds to impeach and let parliamentarians, via secret ballot, prove otherwise,” he said.
“Impeachment can and must be done in a civilised and peaceful manner befitting a modern-day constitutional democracy. The South African Parliament allowed the process to go through to its logical conclusion and the opposition lost openly. I must be allowed to lose and a secret ballot must be allowed in this case because my motion will force a change in the constitutional order.”
Impeccable sources told NewsDay that Maridadi’s motion had support from across the political divide, with claims that more than 70 Zanu PF lawmakers sympathetic to fired former Vice-President Joice Mujuru had thrown their weight behind the move. newsday