EMBATTLED Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe called a cabinet meeting for this morning after his party’s MPs moved to impeach him today.
With characteristic chutzpah, Mr Mugabe called the meeting yesterday evening for 9am at the State House in Harare, saying all ministers “should attend.”
Mr Mugabe is supposedly under house arrest following last Tuesday’s military coup but led a university graduation ceremony on Friday. He was widely expected to announce he was stepping down live on TV on Sunday night, but, despite being flanked by generals who backed last week’s coup against him, to the dismay of his many critics he failed to do so in a rambling and incoherent speech.
MPs from his Zanu-PF party met behind closed doors after a noon deadline from the central committee for Mr Mugabe’s resignation passed with no word from the country’s leader of 37 years.
Chief whip Lovemore Matuke refused to answer questions from reporters as he entered the afternoon meeting. But Zanu-PF secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana claimed they had voted “unanimously” to set up a committee for Mr Mugabe’s impeachment. It would report back on Wednesday and “we vote him out,” Mr Mangwana insisted.
He said the ruling party would need the support of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for an impeachment vote, but “they are supporting us.”
Mr Mangwana said the charges against Mr Mugabe were that he was “allowing his wife to usurp government powers” and that “he is too old and cannot even walk without help.”
Later Zanu-PF Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo said the party had ordered the chief whip to start impeachment proceedings.
The central committee removed Mr Mugabe as leader on Sunday and expelled his wife from the party. Former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, sacked by Mr Mugabe two weeks ago, was appointed leader in Mr Mugabe’s place.
As security minister Mr Mnangagwa played a central role in the 1983 Gukurahundi massacres of political opponents and their supporters in Matabeleland, which is considered the worst atrocity of the Zanu-PF government.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions backed the armed forces and the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association — and by extension the coup — at the weekend. But after Sunday night’s bizarre broadcast, the veterans’ chairman Chris Mutsvangwa accused the Zimbabwe defence forces yesterday of protecting Mr Mugabe as their commander-in-chief and threatened more protests to demand his resignation.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.