The impeachment process begins in Zimbabwe with President Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe could lose his 37-year grip of power on Zimbabwe within a few days. A motion for impeachment is being added to Tuesday’s parliamentary agenda by leading party, ZANU-PF.

The motion, which will be heard by both the National Assembly and the Senate – accuses Mugabe of being a source of instability within government as well as providing his wife, First Lady Grace, a platform to, “usurp constitutional power”.

Robert Mugabe’s position is uncertain

If both houses pass the resolution confirming the president should be removed from office, Mugabe will be stripped of all powers, that many feel have caused immeasurable pain and suffering.

Impeachment will require a two-thirds majority in both houses to go forward.

The tumultuous events began on November 15th when soldiers took control of state broadcaster ZBC’s headquarters, and blocked access to governmental offices. The military, after putting Mugabe under house arrest, insists that this is not a military coup.

The basis for the unfolding crisis lies in an apparent bid by First Lady Grace to expand her husband’s rule. Grace Mugabe was accused of vying for the vice-presidency after former VP, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was fired from his position on November 6th.

Mnangagwa, a long term supporter of the army, fled in professed fear for his life from Zimbabwe after being dismissed by Mugabe just over 2 weeks ago. The former VP has stated he will not return home until he is satisfied of his own personal safety.

Mugabe is no stranger to employing violence in order to keep control of power, and it could be considered one of the defining features of his rule.

Protests continue against Mugabe in country’s capital, Harare.  Photo by: ABC News

The impeachment process may well be fast-tracked in order to bring stability back to the country. Zimbabwean politician Paul Mangwana said he believed the process could be completed, ”as early as Wednesday” due to the charges against Mugabe being so explicit.

Tendai Biti, a leading member of opposition party MDC, has told the media that he feels if the impeachment process is rushed, “the process will not be legitimate or credible.”

If the impeachment is a success then Mugabe will be replaced by the vice-president. The military, which supports Mnangagwa, would like to see him fill the role.

However, when the former VP was removed from position, Phelekexela Mphoko, a known supporter of Grace Mugabe, assumed the position.

Moving forward it is appearing more and more likely that we will see Emmerson Mnangagwa assume the role of president in the coming weeks.


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