THE MDC has made sensational claims that it is working with some disgruntled Zanu-PF MPs to impeach President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the country’s worsening economic rot and the recent killings of innocent civilians by security forces.
This comes as Zanu-PF’s notorious demons of factionalism and tribalism have returned to the former liberation movement with a vengeance — with devastating effects on both the ruling party and the country.
However, Zanu-PF said yesterday that it was “wishful thinking” on the part of the MDC to think that the country’s main opposition could sway its legislators to turn against its leader, “no matter the circumstances”.
But combative MDC deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala told the Daily News that they were in “earnest talks” with some unnamed Zanu-PF Members of Parliament to try and impeach Mnangagwa.
“Impeachment is one of the available ways to the country to get rid of this dictator. There are many people in Zanu-PF who are fed up with his brutal rule and they have been whispering to and encouraging us to take that move (impeachment).
“There is, therefore, no doubt that impeachment can be carried out … every possible card is on the table, but I will not divulge our next strategy for now.
“Violation of the Constitution is central to every impeachment process, the main one being the crimes against humanity that were committed on the people of Zimbabwe in August 2018 and in January 2019,” Sikhala said.
The militant Zengeza West MP was referring to the August 1, 2018 army shootings which left at least six innocent civilians dead — after soldiers used live ammunition to quell an ugly demonstration in Harare.
Security forces were further accused of killing at least 20 civilians in January 2019 following deadly riots which erupted in Harare, Bulawayo and several other towns — after a steep fuel price hike that was announced by Mnangagwa ahead of his trips to Eastern Europe at the time.
Sikhala said all this formed part of the grounds to impeach Mnangagwa — who later set up a commission of inquiry to deal with the August 2018 killings.
Rights groups and Western powers have also demanded punishment for the security forces accused of killing the civilians in 2018 and last year.
Sikhala also said yesterday that the country’s worsening economic rot, as well as its high unemployment and poverty levels also provided solid reasons to push for Mnangagwa’s ouster.
“In addition, his failure to fulfil any of his promises is an aggravating factor. He promised jobs, jobs and more jobs when he committed the coup in 2017.
“But we have never witnessed a single job that he created. No single industry has opened and instead, people are losing the jobs they had during (the late president Robert) Mugabe’s era.
“Finally, he is an illegitimate president. He rigged against President (Nelson) Chamisa. The presidency he holds is clothed with all the characteristics of illegitimacy.
“The people’s president is Advocate Nelson Chamisa, not this masquerade,” the take-no-prisoners Sikhala said further.
The planned putsch against Mnangagwa comes as Zanu-PF is reeling from escalating factional wars.
At the same time, Zimbabwe is in the grip of a gigantic economic crisis — the worst in a decade — which has stoked tensions in the country.
Although the MDC doesn’t have the numbers in Parliament to impeach Mnangagwa, it is banking on the support of disgruntled Zanu-PF legislators in this mission.
But the ruling party scoffed at the MDC’s claim yesterday that the opposition party was negotiating with some of its disgruntled members to jettison Mnangagwa from power.
Zanu-PF chief whip Pupurai Togarepi said the planned impeachment would “not happen”.
“Such a motion is a figment of the imagination of losers who have neither the numbers in Parliament, nor the reasons to call for this.
“It is ironic, if not moronic, that a party that was rejected by the people is attempting to subvert the will of the people.
“They are on shaky ground with shaky ideas,” a dismissive Togarepi told the Daily News.
This is not the first time that it has been suggested that Parliament could move to impeach Mnangagwa.
In 2018, Mnangagwa — who came to power in November 2017 following a military coup — readily admitted that there was a sinister plot by his own MPs to impeach him.
Addressing Zanu-PF supporters after the party’s chaotic primary elections on May 30, 2018, Mnangagwa also warned the supposed plotters that it would not be easy to impeach him.
“I got intelligence that some of those who have won these primary elections have two minds.
“They have gone to join the Zanu-PF wagon using various tricks, money included, to be elected with a possible view that once in Parliament, they will band together and move a motion of impeachment.
“There are two things I would want you to know. First, you must realise that the Constitution provides the basis of impeachment and such basis must be fulfilled before impeachment proceedings begin.
“Secondly, our Constitution provides a tool, an instrument to chuck out from Parliament any member, who we think is not Zanu-PF anymore,” Mnangagwa said then.
Under the country’s jurisprudence, impeachment is a process that may be used to charge and to remove from office public officials accused of serious misconduct.
Section 97 of the Constitution says the Senate and the National Assembly, by a joint resolution passed by at least one-half of their total membership, can deal with the question of whether the president or a vice president should be removed from office for various reasons.
But a president can only be removed from office if he or she is found to have engaged in acts of serious misconduct, has failed to obey, uphold or defend the Constitution, and wilfully violates the Constitution or is unable to perform the functions of the highest office in the land because of physical or mental incapacity.
In January last year, one of Mnangagwa’s most loyal lieutenants and MP for Gokwe Nembudziya, Justice Mayor Wadyajena, threw the cat among the pigeons when he also made sensational claims that some Zanu-PF legislators were planning to impeach their leader.
“They threatened to kill me & harm my family. I stand by @edmnangagwa & wish they knew ours isn’t just a political relationship.
“However they try, we’ll never quit nor be intimidated. The plot is foiled, they lack numbers for impeachment & the devil isn’t @ProfJNMoyo but amongst us!” Wadyajena said on Twitter.
Zanu-PF’s brutal factional, tribal and succession wars that had for long ravaged the ruling party were temporarily ended in dramatic fashion by the military which rolled its tanks into Harare on November 15, 2017— after deciding that they had had enough of Mugabe and his erratic wife Grace.