Zimbabwe Ruling Party Says Mugabe Goes Or Impeachment Starts

AP |

Hack: 

  • Zimbabwe’s ruling party Central Committee fired longtime President Robert Mugabe as party leader.
  • Zimbabwe’s ruling party will begin impeachment proceedings when Parliament resumes the following day.
  • Members of the ruling party’s Central Committee stood, cheered and sang as Mugabe was recalled.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party Central Committee fired longtime President Robert Mugabe as party leader on Sunday, saying that if he doesn’t resign as the country’s president by noon Monday they will begin impeachment proceedings when Parliament resumes the following day.

Clinging to his now virtually powerless post, Mugabe was set to discuss his expected exit with the army commander who put him under house arrest days ago, in a second round of negotiations. But the world’s oldest head of state was increasingly isolated in his lavish mansion, with allies departing, arrested or, like his wife, now expelled from the ruling party.

A day after huge crowds rallied peacefully in the capital, Harare, for the 93-year-old Mugabe to go, members of the ruling party’s Central Committee stood, cheered and sang as Mugabe was recalled. Meeting chair Obert Mpofu referred to him as “outgoing president.”

The meeting replaced Mugabe as party chief with the vice president whose firing nearly two weeks ago led the military to step in, and recalled “forever” the unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe as head of the women’s league.

That former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is expected to lead a new government after his formal election as ruling party chief next month. The ruling party said he should be its nominee to stand for presidential elections next year. Without the military’s intervention, first lady Grace Mugabe likely would have replaced Mnangagwa as vice president and been in a position to succeed her husband.

The party accused the first lady of “preaching hate, divisiveness and assuming roles and powers not delegated to the office.” She was removed as head of the women’s league. The party’s decisions will be formalized at a special congress next month.

Impeaching the president is the next step when Parliament resumes Tuesday, and lawmakers will “definitely” put the process in motion, the main opposition’s parliamentary chief whip told The Associated Press.

Innocent Gonese with the MDC-T party said they had been in discussions with the ruling ZANU-PF party to act jointly.

“If Mugabe is not gone by Tuesday, then as sure as the sun rises from the east, impeachment process will kick in,” Gonese said.

Mugabe’s talks with army commander Constantino Chiwenga are the second round of negotiations on an exit as the military tries to avoid accusations of a coup.

A day after huge crowds rallied peacefully in the capital, Harare, for the 93-year-old Mugabe to go, members of the ruling party’s Central Committee stood, cheered and sang as Mugabe was recalled. Meeting chair Obert Mpofu referred to him as “outgoing president.”

The meeting replaced Mugabe as party chief with the vice president whose firing nearly two weeks ago led the military to step in, and recalled “forever” the unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe as head of the women’s league.

That former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is expected to lead a new government after his formal election as ruling party chief next month. The ruling party said he should be its nominee to stand for presidential elections next year. Without the military’s intervention, first lady Grace Mugabe likely would have replaced Mnangagwa as vice president and been in a position to succeed her husband.

The party accused the first lady of “preaching hate, divisiveness and assuming roles and powers not delegated to the office.” She was removed as head of the women’s league. The party’s decisions will be formalized at a special congress next month.

Impeaching the president is the next step when Parliament resumes Tuesday, and lawmakers will “definitely” put the process in motion, the main opposition’s parliamentary chief whip told The Associated Press.

Innocent Gonese with the MDC-T party said they had been in discussions with the ruling ZANU-PF party to act jointly.

“If Mugabe is not gone by Tuesday, then as sure as the sun rises from the east, impeachment process will kick in,” Gonese said.

Mugabe’s talks with army commander Constantino Chiwenga are the second round of negotiations on an exit as the military tries to avoid accusations of a coup.

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