Harare, November 21: While Zimbabwe’s parliament began session of impeachment of Robert Mugabe; Zimbabwe's ruling party made motion to impeach Mugabe which was supported by opposition party. Thousands of people gathered outside Parliament calling on Robert Mugabe to resign.
The full motion was expected to accuse Mugabe of allowing his wife to "usurp" his position and of being too old to effectively carry out his duties. The army seized power a week ago and there have been mass protests against him and calls to resign from many sides including on Tuesday from the ruling party's favorite to succeed him Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The national ruling party of Zimbabwe, Zanu PF sacked Mugabe. Ironically Mugabe co-founded the party. The party appointed Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president fired by Mugabe earlier this month, as new party leader. He was given a 24-hour time limit till mid-Monday to resign. It was expected that he would step down in a public television address but he did not mention a single word on it. As it was planned war veterans may go for the impeachment process and military will also come up with a statement on Monday. But as his speech did not indicate such step the party has already started working with the impeachment process.
As politicians arrived at parliament in afternoon to begin the impeachment proceedings, thousands of Zimbabweans attended a rally in the capital Harare in support of the motion and the actions of the military in placing Mugabe under house arrest. "We are here because we want to be part of this very important occasion in the history of this country," said Harare resident Samuel Wadzai.
Tsvangirai said the culture of the ruling party "must end" and everyone must put their heads together and work toward free and fair elections.
"Now the question is, how we end Mugabe," said the opposition leader, who shared power with Mugabe as Prime Minister for a number of years. It is not clear how long impeachment would take, though the ruling party has said it could vote Mugabe out as early as Wednesday.
Earlier, in a bid to show he was still in control of the country, Mugabe called a meeting of his Cabinet. Lovemore Matuke, a senior official of the ruling Zanu-PF party said that "all" ministers snubbed the Cabinet meeting and instead heeded a directive to attend the party caucus.
Four regional countries are meeting on Zimbabwe's political crisis. South Africa's president is joining the Angola-hosted summit of the Southern African Development Community, along with the leaders of Zambia and Tanzania. A committee of the regional bloc has recommended a full summit of all 16 members to discuss Zimbabwe.
And also on Tuesday, Botswana's government posted online what it calls an open letter from President Ian Khama urging Mugabe to step down. Khama has openly criticised his neighbour in the past. The letter asks the world's oldest head of state to "be sensitive to the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe and to do the honourable thing by voluntarily relinquishing power."