What next for Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe?
Mugabe impeachment vote is moving ahead amid fears of violence
Zimbabwean MPs are planning impeachment proceedings against Robert Mugabe after the President missed his party’s noon deadline to resign.
The decision raises the spectre of violence and political chaos. Al Jazeera English says that tens of thousands of citizens and the ruling Zanu-PF party have turned against Mugabe, a scenario that was unthinkable only last week.
“People are really really frustrated. They thought they were going to see the end of 37 years of Robert Mugabe ruling the country,” Sky News correspondent Alex Rossi says. “There is of course the possibility this could descend into violence.”
There was no word on his fate as the deadline passed, says The Guardian, although there were some reports that Mugabe plans to resign within 24 hours.
The 93-year-old President, who was placed under house arrest during a military coup last week, was sacked by Zanu-PF over the weekend and told to resign or face impeachment when parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.
“The head of Zimbabwe’s influential war veterans association has claimed that President Mugabe smuggled in and read his own speech during a televised address last night in which he had been expected to resign,” The Times reports.
Should Mugabe continue to cling to power, MPs would be in a position to vote on his impeachment by Wednesday. A two-thirds majority is required for the motion to pass.
Former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ex-intelligence minister known as the “Crocodile” for his survival skills, appears to be Mugabe’s probable successor.
Labour MP Kate Hoey, a campaigner for human rights in Zimbabwe, has described Mnangagwa, 75, as “probably the one person in Zimbabwe who inspires even greater terror than Mugabe”.
But Associated Press reporter Michelle Faul told NPR that Mnangagwa is seen by some as a man with “good business acumen” who’s willing to work with the opposition.