Mugabe jumped before he was pushed

Mugabe jumped before he was pushed
Published: 24 November 2017 (190 Views)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe jumped a moment before he was pushed. He realised that his impeachment was inevitable and imminent. Resignation was the less humiliating alternative to being fired by his own beloved Zanu-PF party. By PETER FABRICIUS.

Analysts said on Tuesday that the impeachment process launched by Zanu-PF was heading for a speedy conclusion. Earlier concerns that the party leadership might not muster the votes to impeach him quickly evaporated and Mugabe's removal from office loomed, within days if not hours.

The first stage of impeachment, a simple majority vote of both houses of parliament, sitting together, to form a nine-person committee of MPs representing all parties to investigate impeachment, would be easy.

Debate on that resolution under section 97 of the constitution had started and MDC MP Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushongwa was in the midst of her speech when the speaker, Jacob Mudenda, interrupted her to advise that he had received a letter from Mugabe.

"I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation... with immediate effect," Mudenda read, triggering cheers from MPs.

Former opposition senator David Coltart posted on his Facebook page, "This is a good day - but as we celebrate this evening I am reminded of all those who have sacrificed their lives to see the end of this tyrant. I am also reminded that we have removed a tyrant but not a tyranny.

"God bless Zimbabwe."

Coltart had earlier explained how the impeachment of Mugabe could take just a matter of hours, though MPs had been advised to stretch it out at least until Thursday, "for the sake of constitutional decorum".

If the joint sitting had passed the resolution calling for the nine-person committee to be formed, it could have convened immediately, though Coltart had expected it would probably only have met on Wednesday. It would probably have called on Mugabe to defend himself before it. He would almost certainly have declined, out of pride.

The committee would then very likely have proceeded rapidly to recommend impeachment under section 97 which states that the president may be removed from office for "a. serious misconduct; b. failure to obey, uphold or defend this constitution; c. wilful violation of this constitution; or d. inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or mental incapacity."

Derek Matyszak, a lawyer and Zimbabwe expert at the Institute for Security Studies, agreed that finding Mugabe culpable under any one of those clauses would have been "a doddle".

This parliamentary committee would then have returned to the joint sitting of both houses where its recommendation to impeach Mugabe would have been debated and put to the vote.

This time a two-thirds majority would have been required to adopt it. Both Matyszak and Coltart said there had been earlier concerns that a two-thirds majority would not be attained, both because of opposition from some die-hard supporters of Mugabe and his wife Grace and because it was not initially clear that the main opposition party, MDC-T - led by Morgan Tsvangirai - would support it.

There was some debate in MDC-T about withholding support for the impeachment resolution in order to leverage some concessions, such as the party being part of a transitional government of national unity to govern the country until elections.

Matyszak said one proposal on the table was for such a government to govern for three years, postponing the elections which are due about July 2018.

But in the end these concerns evaporated and it became clear, to Mugabe and everyone else, that the impeachment decision would be carried.

Once that had happened, Mugabe would have been out of office immediately. So he chose instead to resign before he was fired.

His resignation seemed to have pre-empted a visit by President Jacob Zuma and Angolan President João Lourenço who were due to land in Harare on Wednesday "to assess the situation".

They had been instructed to undertake the mission by a summit of the troika of the security organ of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which was held in Luanda on Tuesday.

But Clayson Monyela, spokesperson of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, said on Tuesday night it was his understanding that the visit would still go ahead, despite Mugabe's resignation, as the summit had taken a decision to that effect.

- Daily Maverick

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Morgan Tsvangirai and the making of a national hero

by Tafi Mhaka | 16 February 2018 | 290 Views

Tsvangirai the legacy

by Daniel Itai | 16 February 2018 | 254 Views

Zuma's demise

by Daniel Itai | 16 February 2018 | 299 Views

Tsvangirai supporters organise red Saturday in honour of him

by Stephen Jakes | 16 February 2018 | 525 Views

Tsvangirai burial set for Buhera

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 322 Views

Tsvangirai Funeral Update: Khupe deployed to SA

by Nelson Chamisa | 16 February 2018 | 367 Views

Khupe apologises

by Dr Thokozani Khupe | 16 February 2018 | 937 Views

Mnangagwa, army commanders tensions grow

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 389 Views

Tsvangirai's death, political phonies and crocodile tears

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 191 Views

The hypocrisy of Zanu-PF is utterly suffocating

by Brezhnev Malaba | 16 February 2018 | 154 Views

Zimbabwe to mortgage minerals for capital

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 119 Views

Tsvangirai's death fuels MDC-T turmoil

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 155 Views

Gukurahundi victims want their voices heard

by Nqobani Ndlovu in Maphisa | 16 February 2018 | 111 Views

Mudede sued over dual citizenship

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 209 Views

Mnangagwa, Mugabe fallout - Mugabe security further reduced

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 533 Views

MDC UK & Ireland Youth Statement on the death of Morgan Tsvangirai

by Vusumuzi B Ncube | 16 February 2018 | 196 Views

Momentary celebrity cannot erase Zimbabweans' common sense

by Brian T Kagoro | 16 February 2018 | 184 Views

How to avoid flawed elections in Zimbabwe

by Ibbo Mandaza & Tony Reeler | 16 February 2018 | 188 Views

Chivayo braces for bruising wrangle

by Business Weekly | 16 February 2018 | 213 Views

Obert Mpofu cleared, he is not corrupt

by Business Weekly | 16 February 2018 | 310 Views

Mnangagwa urged to repeal laws that hinder free polls

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 150 Views

Cheating wife agony

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 337 Views

Man dumped for preying on maids

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 237 Views

Sangoma 'steals' wife

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 174 Views

Highlanders in no rush to spend

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 127 Views

Bees sting woman to death

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 140 Views

Busted while servicing pal's hubby

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 299 Views

Tsvangirai was courage personified

by Conway Nkumbuzo Tutani | 16 February 2018 | 122 Views

Woman runs amok in house fight

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 130 Views

Student savagely attacked by lover's wife, hired hit men

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 113 Views

Jilted cop 'impounds' ex-wife's panties

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 102 Views

Drama as hubby busts wife, lover

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 187 Views

Desperate fuel thieves arrested

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 94 Views

Dembare, CAPS match moved

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 141 Views

Zanu-PF MP sued over child upkeep

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 91 Views

Blow for Zacc

by Staff reporter | 16 February 2018 | 114 Views