Tuesday, 21 November 2017


IN a rare show of solidarity, incoming Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa’s team yesterday met MDC-T legislators and agreed to jointly support a motion to impeach President Robert Mugabe, whom they labelled as the country’s “common enemy”.

This came as Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo confirmed in a statement that Mugabe had not tendered his resignation by midday yesterday as demanded by the party’s central committee.

Zanu PF legal affairs deputy secretary Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana confirmed yesterday that they had met MDC-T legislators to come up with a common position on Mugabe’s looming impeachment today.

“Yes, I am just coming from a meeting now and we have agreed in principle to work together. We have a common agenda. The opposition has 73 votes which we need and we have agreed to continue discussions,” he said.

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the discussions, but indicated that his party had tabled certain conditions for co-operation with their Zanu PF counterparts in Mugabe’s removal.

“For MDC-T, there is no difference to us who the president of Zanu PF is if the political environment is not addressed. While we would like to help in removing Mugabe, it is important that we take advantage of the situation created by the military to set standards that put our country on a firm foundation towards real democracy,” he said.

Mwonzora added that the MDC-T would demand undertakings for a United Nations-supervised poll, among other things.

“The statements attributed to Zanu PF leaders to the effect that they do not need us in removing Mugabe were unfortunate and we deserve an apology. The MDC-T has never asked for a coalition government, but we want a transitional arrangement that will create conditions for free, fair and credible elections that are supervised by the international community,” he said.

He said the MDC-T was also demanding the reform of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and a hands-free approach to electoral issues by the security services.

“We also need a plan to arrest the economic decline and poverty that has ravaged our people. The security services must establish satisfactory and credible mechanisms for the elimination of pre and post-electoral violence. Our security services shall play no role in elections except that which is prescribed by the Constitution. Zec must be institutionally reformed to turn it into a credible poll management body and there must be reasonable access to all electoral material by all stakeholders,” he said. Mangwana was confident the parties would vote together.

“This (Mugabe’s removal) is a matter of common concern and there are no conditions set. If anything, interactions between the parties had already started way before this, under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Institute,” Mangwana said.

Khaya Moyo added that there was no going back on plans to impeach Mugabe and recall him from his lofty government position following a week of dramatic events which involved intervention by the military to restore political stability in the country.

Mugabe was on Sunday deposed as Zanu PF leader following a special session of the ruling party’s central committee. He was replaced by Mnangagwa, his former trusted lieutenant, whom he fired as the Zanu PF succession fights turned septic.

“Pursuant to the decision of the Zanu PF central committee entered on November 19, 2017, recalling Cde Robert Mugabe from the position of President and first secretary of Zanu PF, the party wishes to announce that Cde R G Mugabe has been formally notified of the decision this morning,” Khaya Moyo said.

“As for that, the party has instructed the chief whip (Lovemore Matuke) to proceed with impeachment processes against Cde R G Mugabe as it has not received the anticipated confirmation of his resignation from the Speaker of Parliament.”

He added: “A caucus of the Zanu PF parliamentarians is currently underway in pursuit of the resolutions by the special session of the central committee to initiate impeachment processes. The motion of proceedings is expected to be tabled before Parliament when it sits on November 21, 2017 (today).”

Zanu PF sources said a resolution had also been made to snub Mugabe’s Cabinet meeting scheduled for 9am today.

“We have been directed that there would be another party caucus tomorrow at midday before Parliament resumes sitting and everyone, including ministers, is expected to attend without fail,” NewsDay heard.

It would be the first time Mugabe is snubbed by his subordinates since taking power 37 years ago. Mugabe’s problems were triggered by his decision to fire Mnangagwa two weeks ago forcing the military to intervene “to pacify the situation” last week.

Mugabe has since the operation been under “house arrest” only allowed to leave his private home in brief moments.

However, the 93-year-old ailing Mugabe in a televised speech on Sunday night seemed to suggest that he was still in charge of both government and party business. Newsday


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