Africa 20.11.2017 07:30 am

Mugabe calls Cabinet meeting as Zanu-PF moves to impeach him

Mugabe calls Cabinet meeting as Zanu-PF moves to impeach him

Mugabe is set to meet with the ministers in his Cabinet on the same day his party is expected to oust him in parliament.

Mugabe will have a meeting in a special seating with his Cabinet ministers, the first time since the army effectively staged a coup last week Wednesday.

Zanu-PF fired Mugabe and his wife Grace yesterday, paving the way for Emmerson Mnangagwa to be elected President of the party and possibly lead the party in the general elections next year.

“We want to get rid of this animal called Mugabe, he must go. We have the numbers, the opposition is also going to support us,” said ZANU-PF MP Vongai Mupereri.

“We have got a clear position, we are going to impeach — the man has to go,” said another government MP, MacKenzie Ncube, speaking to AFP after a key meeting of ruling party lawmakers.

Earlier

Lawmakers within Zimbabwe’s ruling party will meet to discuss extensively their options following his defiance and refusal to resign.

Earlier

Zimbabweans couldn’t stomach Mugabe’s defiance speech, went to bed hungry

Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa said on Monday their dismay at hearing President Robert Mugabe’s defiant televised speech in which he poured cold water on all hopes he would resign, was such that many went to bed hungry.

“I was really hurt and failed to take my dinner, and so were most of my family members and other comrades. I understand, many were very confident and waiting for the right hour to ‘wine and dine’ as we bade farewell to the old man,” Janet Munakamwe of the African Diaspora Workers Network said in Pretoria.

“Unfortunately, all was in vain and it seems we are back to square one in light of the old man’s claim that he is ready to preside over the forthcoming December election [at Zanu PF’s conference]. Our only hope for now is a united front led by the masses … back to basics.”

But Munakamwe said she was not totally surprised that the man who has ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, signalled his intention to cling on to power.

“Taking into account the euphoria that was elicited by the masses on Saturday, including yesterday [Sunday] after the announcement of the decision by the Zanu PF structures, and Mugabe’s indifference in front of the public broadcaster and that winding nostalgic speech as if nothing had happened, personally, I was not so surprised and knew that the man was going nowhere.”

Early on Monday, Zimbabweans were going to work as usual, schoolchildren were in class, vendors on the streets and taxis running “as normal” in the capital Harare.

Dejection seized Zimbabweans based in Gauteng, the economic hub of South Africa which many now call home after fleeing economic meltdown, political violence and unemployment.

A crowd of Zimbabweans marched to the Union Buildings, which houses President Jacob Zuma’s offices in Pretoria on Saturday, demanding Mugabe’s ouster in the wake of a military take-over and mass protests in Zimbabwe.

Pretoria businessman Given Masanidze said after the “successful protests”, Mugabe’s speech on Sunday evening came as a shock.

“I was totally disappointed with that speech. I was expecting the president to resign following the calls by the masses of our people, and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the war veterans. For me, the speech felt like I was hearing news about the death of a family member,” said Masanidze.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change’s South Africa branch vowed to increase pressure on Mugabe to vacate State House in Harare.

“We will continue mobilising for Mugabe to step down. We will fight Zanu PF and any of its leaders because they are part of the oppressive system which denied Zimbabweans freedom, democracy and economic development. Be it G40 or Lacoste [factions], Zanu PF must go,” said the organising secretary Trust Ndlovu.

Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF, on Sunday said it had “recalled” the ageing leader and warned that if he failed to resign by Monday noon they would start an impeachment process. The deadline came and went with no sign of compliance from Mugabe.

In the capital, the army tanks that rolled into the city a week ago were still placed strategically at Mugabe’s office and other key government institutions, a clear indication that the standoff is far from over.

Earlier

Mugabe ignores calls for his resignation

Zimbabwe’s beleaguered President Robert Mugabe has ignored a noon deadline imposed by the governing Zanu-PF party to tender his resignation today.

Earlier:

Zim war vets up the ante in bid to remove Mugabe

Zimbabwe war veterans have vowed not to leave Harare until embattled President Robert Mugabe is gone.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday morning, Zimbabwe War Veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa accused Mugabe of dragging his feet over stepping down.

“It’s over for Mugabe. We want to see his back now. The emperor has no clothes,” said Mutsvangwa.

He  urged President Jacob Zuma, as SADC chair, to help speed up Mugabe’s exit.

“Although we are happy with the efforts of President Zuma, the AU and UN must join in sadc in getting Mugabe to leave,” said the war veterans leader.

The tough talking liberation movement has set also set the legal process to force out the Zimbabwe leader that would culminate in a possible and humiliating impeachment for the elderly statesman.

“He admitted to dereliction of duty during that none event announcement of his on national television last night. You all heard him. As a result we are going to file court papers seeking his removal,” said Mutsvangwa.

It is not the only pressure the war vets are applying on Mugabe to go. They have called on the masses to return to the streets. “This is a Zimbabwe initiative, all Zimbabweans must unite. It is not the job of the military to remove Mugabe, but that of the people,” he said.

Mutsvangwa again took a swipe at Grace Mugabe when questioned about the legality of Zanu PF firing Mugabe’s key allies. “She wanted to capture the State House courtesy of a marriage certificate. That cannot be. That process was above board”.

The press conference took place as the count down to the Zanu PF midday deadline for Mugabe to step down inched closer. It remains to be seen whether the party will begin the impeachment process if Mugabe ignores their ultimatum.

The much awaited announcement by Mugabe on national television on Sunday night was met with confusion and anger when the Zimbabwe head of state dug in his heels and refused to resign as widely predicted.

Mugabe, to the disbelief of many, even went so far as to say that he will oversee the ruling Zanu PF December congress despite the party sacking him as its leader earlier in the day.

ANA

Who's who in Zimbabwe

Who’s who in Zimbabwe

 

Earlier:

Disappointed Zimbabweans continue ‘life as normal’

Early on Monday – the morning after beleaguered 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe shattered the expectations of millions by not announcing his much anticipated resignation – ordinary Zimbabweans were going to work, schoolchildren were in class, vendors on the streets and taxis running “as normal” in the capital Harare.

It all appears generally peaceful.

Mugabe’s  Zanu PF, on Sunday said it had “recalled” the ageing leader and warned that if he failed to resign by Monday noon they would trigger impeachment procedures.

In the capital, the army tanks are still placed strategically at Mugabe’s office and other key government institution, a clear indication that
the standoff is far from over. They rolled into the city a week ago.

ALSO READ: Five confusing moments from Mugabe’s televised speech

Mugabe himself is still “confined” at his private residence with his wife, Grace, who has also been removed from her position as leader of the Zanu PF Women’s League and fired from the party.

Stung by the failure by Mugabe to announce his resignation during his press conference on Sunday night, the war veterans and and opposition are not waiting and are piling on the pressure for him to step. They also intend to impeach Mugabe.

Mugabe’s long and rambling speech ignored his removal as Zanu PF leader and spoke of unity and how he would preside over the party’s congress next month.

A video grab made on November 19, 2017 from footage of the broadcast of Zimbabwe Broadcasting corporation (ZBC) shows Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe delivering a speech in Harare, following a meeting with army chiefs who have seized power in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, in a much-expected TV address, stressed he was still in power after his authoritarian 37-year reign was rocked by a military takeover. Many Zimbabweans expected Mugabe to resign after the army seized power last week. But Mugabe delivered his speech alongside the uniformed generals who were behind the military intervention. In his address, Mugabe made no reference to the clamour for him to resign. / AFP PHOTO / ZBC AND AFP PHOTO / STR / XGTY / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / ZBC" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

A video grab made on November 19, 2017 from footage of the broadcast of Zimbabwe Broadcasting corporation (ZBC) shows Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe delivering a speech in Harare, following a meeting with army chiefs who have seized power in Zimbabwe. AFP PHOTO / ZBC AND AFP PHOTO / STR / XGTY /

Shortly after engineering Mugabe’s sacking from Zanu PF and that of his wife Grace, the war veterans said they will hold a press conference of their own on Monday morning. They have reinstated sacked deputy president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as the interim leader PF.

– ANA

Earlier: 

Mugabe refuses to budge; faces possibility of impeachment

The much awaited announcement by President Robert Mugabe on national television on Sunday night was met with confusion and anger when the Zimbabwe head of state dug in his heels and refused to resign as widely predicted.

Mugabe, to the disbelief of many, even went so far as to say that he will oversee the ruling Zanu PF December congress despite the party sacking him as its leader earlier in the day.

The shocking turn of events which came after his party recalled him earlier in the day now sets in motion the likelihood of a humiliating impeachment that the 93-year-old now faces on Tuesday when Parliament sits.

Zanu PF have given the Mugabe until midday Monday to step down or face impeachment through the Parliament.

ALSO READ: Africa is a resilient place, Zim will move on without Mugabe

Disappointed War Veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa  said they would go ahead with plans to remove Mugabe.

“He seems to be blind and oblivious to what his party wants. We are going with our plans to get people to finish what we started,” Mutsvangwa said late Sunday night.

– ANA

A video grab made on November 19, 2017 from footage of the broadcast of Zimbabwe Broadcasting corporation (ZBC) shows Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (C) delivering a speech in Harare, following a meeting with army chiefs who have seized power in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, in a much-expected TV address, stressed he was still in power after his authoritarian 37-year reign was rocked by a military takeover. Many Zimbabweans expected Mugabe to resign after the army seized power last week. But Mugabe delivered his speech alongside the uniformed generals who were behind the military intervention. In his address, Mugabe made no reference to the clamour for him to resign. / AFP PHOTO / ZBC / STR / XGTY / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / ZBC" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

A video grab made on November 19, 2017 from footage of the broadcast of Zimbabwe Broadcasting corporation (ZBC) shows Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe (C) delivering a speech in Harare, following a meeting with army chiefs who have seized power in Zimbabwe. AFP PHOTO / ZBC / STR / XGTY

Noon deadline looms for defiant Mugabe as Zimbabwe crisis deepens

Robert Mugabe faced the threat of impeachment by his own party Monday, after his shock insistence he still holds power despite a military takeover and a noon deadline to end his 37-year autocratic rule.

In a televised address late Sunday, the 93-year-old defied expectations that he would bring the curtain down on his reign, pitching the country into a second week of political crisis.

The speech provoked anger and disbelief among crowds who had gathered in bars and cafes to watch, and raised concerns that Zimbabwe could be at risk of a violent reaction to the political tensions.

His once-loyal ZANU-PF party — who has already sacked him and told him to resign as head of state — warned it would seek to impeach him if he fails to quit by midday on Monday (1000 GMT).

The speech capped an extraordinary weekend that saw Zimbabweans jubilant at the prospect of his demise and venting their anger in ways that, just a week earlier, would have been brutally punished.

ALSO READ: In memes: Ska bafa chance! Twitter reacts to Mugabe’s shock non-resignation

But their joy quickly turned to despair as Mugabe seemed to brush aside the turmoil — blithely declaring he would chair a top-level meeting of the party that had just disavowed him.

“The (ruling ZANU-PF) party congress is due in a few weeks and I will preside over its processes,” he said.

– ‘Protests and impeachment’ –

Chris Mutsvangwa, head of the influential war veterans’ association, called for protests and demanded that Mugabe be impeached.

“That speech has nothing to do with realities. We will go for impeachment and we are calling people back to the streets,” he told AFP.

The crisis erupted on November 13 over a factional squabble to succeed the ailing president.

Mugabe’s wife Grace, 52, secured prime position to succeed him, sidelining the vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired.

But Mnangagwa, 75, has close ties to the army and the powerful war veterans.

After he fled abroad, the army took over the country and placed Mugabe under house arrest.

They insisted this was not a military coup, but rather an operation to root out “criminals around (Mugabe) who are committing crimes”. That was seen as a reference to supporters of the highly ambitious first lady.

When Mugabe refused to step down following behind-the-scenes talks, the generals unleashed people power.

In scenes redolent of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, crowds thronged the cities, waving national flags and chanting for Mugabe to resign.

ALSO READ: You can’t fire a revolutionary leader, says Grace and Mugabe’s son

The pendulum swung further against the president on Sunday, when ZANU-PF dismissed him as its leader and demanded he resign as head of state, naming Mnangagwa as the new party chief.

But impeaching Mugabe, who is the only leader most Zimbabweans have ever known, would require a two thirds-majority in both houses of Zimbabwe’s parliament which is due to resume on Tuesday.

– Unruffled –

Mugabe seemed unfazed, though.

He made no reference to the hostile chorus calling for him to go and shrugged off last week’s dramatic military intervention.

“The operation I have alluded to did not amount to a threat to our well-cherished constitutional order nor did it challenge my authority as head of state, not even as commander in chief,” he said mildly.

Instead he urged harmony and comradeship to tackle the country’s problems.

“Whatever the pros and cons of how they (the army) went about their operation, I… do acknowledge their concerns,” he said.

“We must learn to forgive and resolve contradictions, real or perceived, in a comradely Zimbabwean spirit.”

ALSO READ: Was Zimbabwe coup for the people?

Derek Matyszak, an analyst at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, said Mugabe’s address raised the stakes even further.

“It’s absolutely astounding. Mugabe behaves as if nothing ZANU-PF said this afternoon was of any relevance,” he told AFP.

“Where they’ll go from here? They’ll proceed with the so-called impeachment process.”

Some sources suggest Mugabe has been battling to delay his exit in order to secure a deal that would guarantee future protection for him and his family.

Mugabe was a key figure in the war that wrested power from the white colonial government that ran the former Rhodesia.

He took office as prime minister in 1980, surfing a wave of goodwill, and later became president.

But his reputation was swiftly tarnished by his authoritarian instincts, corruption, cronyism and economic ineptitude, and eventually his country was shunned by the West.

Output has halved since 2000 when many white-owned farms were seized, leaving the key agricultural sector in ruins.

– AFP

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