AN audacious attempt by MDC-T legislators to force President Robert
Mugabe out of power through an impeachment appears to have suffered a
stillbirth, with opposition party officials giving conflicting
statements over the plan.
Mabvuku/Tafara legislator, James Maridadi last month told NewsDay he would move a motion to have Parliament impeach Mugabe once the legislature resumed sitting on June 6.
However, three weeks on, Maridadi has not brought the motion to the National Assembly, with MDC-T chief whip, Innocent Gonese yesterday saying he did not have information on the issue.
When he announced the plan last month, Maridadi claimed he had the backing of more than 70 Zanu PF legislators sympathetic to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who had lost faith in Mugabe’s capacity to continue in office.
Efforts to contact Maridadi for a comment were fruitless, as his mobile phone went unanswered yesterday.
But MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu was adamant the 92-year-old Mugabe would be forced to defend himself and show-cause why he should continue in office.
“The party is not developing cold feet. Why should we? The leader of the opposition in Parliament is Thokozani Khupe and she is the one who isresponsible for marshalling and leading our troops in Parliament,” he said.
“You can be assured that the impeachment motion is very much on our agenda, but as you should know, it may not be strategic for us to publicly disclose all our plans, warts and all. Just watch this space.”
Contacted for comment, Khupe, the MDC-T vice-president, seemed not to be in the loop on the issue.
“I have been away and I am not sure what the caucus decided,” she said.
Zanu PF chief whip, Lovemore Matuke dismissed the impeachment plan as daydreaming.
“It is nothing more than daydreaming. The President will not be removed that way and I doubt if any Zanu PF MP will support such a stupid move,” he said.
“I have always said Zanu PF is not a party, but a culture and in particular issues to do with President Mugabe are a complete no, no.”
With the opposition having indicated it would demand a secret ballot to protect Zanu PF lawmakers, who would want to break ranks with their party and support Mugabe’s ouster, Matuke was evasive on whether the ruling party would allow it.
“We cannot talk about procedure when we know they will not bring the motion. Anybody thinking of that needs psychiatric examination,” he said.
Insiders claimed the motion had received tacit support from warring Zanu PF factions “for different reasons”, as well as lawmakers linked to Mujuru, but still in Parliament on Zanu PF tickets.
Zanu PF has in the past two years been rocked by vicious internal struggles for power, with senior party leaders looking beyond Mugabe and seemingly positioning themselves for eventual take-over.
But Mugabe has obstinately dug in, telling his lieutenants “I am going nowhere”. newsday