By Zimbabwe Digital News and Agencies
A road map for Zimbabwe’s new leadership has been agreed upon and direct talks between deposed President Robert Mugabe and former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa have started, Zimbabwe’s military chief General Constantino Chiwenga told reporters last night.
In remarks made on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, General Chiwenga said Mnangagwa would be back in the Zimbabwe soon, and hold talks with Mugabe, adding that the army was confident its intervention code named “Operation Restore Legacy” was progressing well.
Mnangagwa, who has been out of the country since Mugabe ousted him as vice president earlier this month, and whose whereabouts are not public, was reinstated by the ruling Zanu-Pf on Sunday, and was nominated as the interim party leader.
“The nation will be advised on the outcome of talks between the two (Mugabe and Mnangagwa),” Chiwenga, who was flanked by the military top brass and service chiefs said.
Gen Chiwenga called for calm among Zimbabwean citizens, saying students should end protests and focus on school. He added that the ZDF was committed to “Restore Legacy” which is underway to rid Zanu-PF of criminals who had coalesced around President Mugabe.
Earlier a deadline set by Zanu-PF for Mugabe to resign passed on Monday, leaving the way open for a possible impeachment on Tuesday.
Impeachment could see Mugabe kicked out by a vote in parliament in under a day and would represent an ignominious end to the career of the “Grand Old Man” of African politics, who was once lauded across the continent as an anti-colonial hero.
Zany-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke told reporters Zanu members of parliament would meet at noon on Tuesday to start mapping out Mugabe’s impeachment.
In the draft motion, the party accused Mugabe of being a “source of instability”, flouting the rule of law and presiding over an “unprecedented economic tailspin” in the last 15 years.
It also said he had abrogated his constitutional mandate to his hot-headed and unpopular 52-year-old wife Grace, whose tilt at power triggered the backlash from the army that saw it put tanks on the streets of the capital last week.
On paper, the process is long-winded, involving a joint sitting of the Senate and National Assembly, then a nine-member committee of senators, then another joint sitting to confirm his dismissal with a two-thirds majority.
Mugabe’s demise, now almost inevitable, is likely to send shockwaves across Africa, where a number of entrenched strongmen from Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni to Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila are facing mounting pressure to step aside.
Mugabe has refused to answer repeated calls to step down even after effectively being stripped of his powers.
Journalists in Harare reported that Mugabe had agreed to terms for his resignation in talks with military leaders who have seized control in the country, and that a letter had been drafted.
On paper, the process is relatively long-winded, involving a joint sitting of the Senate and National Assembly, then a nine-member committee of senators, then another joint sitting to confirm his dismissal with a two-thirds majority.
However, constitutional experts said ZANU-PF had the numbers and could push it through in as little as 24 hours.
“They can fast-track it. It can be done in a matter of a day,” said John Makamure, executive director of the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust, an NGO that works with the parliament in Harare.
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