International desk, November 21: Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party is set to begin impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe on charges that include allowing his wife “to usurp constitutional power”.The motion is now due to be presented to parliament on Tuesday.
Senior party member Paul Mangwana said the process could take as little as two days to complete, and President Mugabe could be removed by Wednesday.
A deadline set by Zanu-PF for his resignation passed on Monday.
Separately, military leaders said they had planned a “roadmap” for Mr Mugabe’s future, and that the ousted former vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, would return to the country soon.
Grace Mugabe and Mr Mnangagwa had both been seen as potential successors to the ageing president. But earlier this month, Mr Mugabe fired his deputy – widely seen as an endorsement of his wife – prompting a military intervention.
The country’s top general said Mr Mugabe and his former deputy had been in contact, and would hold in-person talks soon.
Zimbabwe’s constitution allows for impeachment on grounds of “serious misconduct”, “violation” of the constitution or “failure to obey, uphold or defend” it, or “incapacity”.
“The main charge is that he has allowed his wife to usurp constitutional power when she has no right to run government. But she is insulting civil servants, the vice president, at public rallies. They are denigrating the army – those are the charges,” Paul Mangwana said, emerging from a party meeting.
“He has refused to implement the constitution of Zimbabwe – particularly we had elections for the provincial councils, but up to now they have not been put into office.
“He is of advanced age, that he no longer has the physical capacity to run government,” he added.
“He is a stubborn man, he can hear the voices of the people, but is refusing to listen.”
On Sunday, Mr Mugabe gave a televised address which surprised many Zimbabweans because it made no mention of the pressure from his party and the public to quit.
Surrounded by generals, he declared that the military had done nothing wrong by seizing power and placing him under house arrest.
He then vowed to preside over the Zanu-PF party congress, due in a few weeks.