Parliament should impeach Mugabe

The news that the various factions in Zanu (PF) are slowly coming together with the sole purpose of easing Mugabe out of office is both pleasing and interesting. It is about time that they took stern action to encourage the old man to go and take a well deserved rest before the situation becomes too embarrassing for him.

John Makumbe
John Makumbe

For many years, President Mugabe has been promising this nation that when the people of this country indicate to him that they no longer want him to continue leading them, he will retire from office. As I once stated in an earlier instalment, the people actually spoke very clearly in March 2008, but perhaps Mr. Mugabe is hard of hearing; at his age that would not be surprising at all.

The past few weeks of the publication of the US Embassy cables through WikiLeaks have added to the voice of the people by demonstrating that the call for Mugabe to retire is perhaps, even louder from within his own political party. Indeed, even his trusted vice presidents have clandestinely whispered as much to none other than the hated Americans, that the old man should depart.

In typical Mugabe style, plans are reportedly underway to fish out the “sell-outs” in his personal party and punish them to the fullest extent of the Zanu (PF) way. Suspension for five years is quite likely to be considered grossly inadequate as a punishment for these people. Why have they not had the courage to tell their President what they are secretly telling the Americans?

The reason for this is obvious; you tell Mugabe such unpalatable at your own risk. Now we wait to see who among them will have the courage to hang the bell on the cat. There is speculation that the Zanu (PF) December meeting in Bulawayo could be used as the vehicle for informing the First Secretary of that party that the game is over.

Still, who will have the courage to utter those words? I mean, with the good and courageous General Mujuru gone, Mugabe is very much unlikely to be challenged for the party’s leadership by anyone in his sinking party. Perhaps the party should hire someone from the MDC formations to do the honours. Perhaps they should rope in Margaret Dongo, who once referred to them as “Mugabe’s wives.”

But there is a better way of getting rid of the old man. It is a constitutional way and it is democratic. The current Constitution of Zimbabwe makes provision for the impeachment of the President if it should be deemed that he has become incapacitated to the extent that he can no longer perform his duties.

With Mugabe flying to the Far East some seven times this year alone, and with so many pictures of him dozing during critical meetings, and with so much work remaining undone in relation to the implementation of the GPA, it is only fair to say that the old man has reached the level where he can safely be classified as incapacitated. The law provides that if one third of the Members of Parliament sign a petition demanding that the President’s performance of his mandate be investigated then such action can be undertaken.

It will not be difficult to get the requisite one-third of the MPs who will gladly sign such a petition. Amendment 19 to the Zimbabwe Constitution ensures that the President cannot single-handedly dissolve Parliament. He will have to consult both Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube. The two are very likely to want the Parliamentary investigation to go ahead and will therefore not agree to the dissolution of the legislature. Parliament will therefore be able to prove that Mugabe is now incapacitated and proceed to impeach him for the sake of this country.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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