21 Nov 2017

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe 'let wife Grace usurp power'

6:34 am on 21 November 2017

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party is set to begin impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe, on charges he "allowed his wife to usurp constitutional power."

The motion is now due to be moved in parliament on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace.

President Mugabe's party said his wife "has no right to run government". Photo: AFP

Party member Paul Mangawana said the process could take as little as two days to complete, and President Mugabe could be removed by Wednesday.

The announcement came after a Monday deadline for his resignation passed.

Grace Mugabe was seen as a potential successor to the ageing president before the military intervention last week.

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".

Mr Mangawana said President Mugabe had also failed to implement the constitution, and his advanced age meant he was no longer fit for office.

"He is a stubborn man, he can hear the voices of the people, but is refusing to listen," he said.

Impeachment proceedings are now expected to be launched on Tuesday, with votes in both the National Assembly and the Senate.

Both chambers must then appoint a joint committee to investigate removing the president.

If the committee recommends impeachment, the president can then be removed if both houses back it with two-thirds majorities.

"We are expecting the motion to be moved tomorrow, the committee to be set up tomorrow, and hopefully by Wednesday - because the charges are so clear - we expect that by Wednesday, we should be able to vote in parliament," Mr Mangawana said.

"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," he said.

"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.

- BBC

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