Process of impeaching Robert Mugabe to begin in Zimbabwe

An ultimatum for him to resign came and went on Monday

Process of impeaching Robert Mugabe to begin in Zimbabwe

Deposed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addresses the nation on television in Harare, Zimbabwe | Image: The Herald/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Impeachment proceedings to remove Robert Mugabe from power will begin later after a deadline for him to resign passed.

Zimbabwe's leader stunned his country on Sunday when he failed to announce that he was stepping down.

An ultimatum from his Zanu-PF party to resign by midday on Monday or face impeachment also came and went with no word from Mr Mugabe.

The party will now press ahead with impeachment by tabling a motion, and it believes it can all be done and dusted in a couple of days.

"We want to get rid of this animal called Mugabe. We have the numbers, the opposition is also going to support us," said Zanu-PF MP Vongai Mupereri.

"We are going to impeach - the man has to go," MP MacKenzie Ncube told the AFP news agency.

Zimbabwe's military chief said on Monday evening that a road map to hand over power had been agreed with Mr Mugabe.

Constantino Chiwenga said vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose firing led to the unrest in the country, would return to Zimbabwe "shortly" to meet the deposed president.

Zimbabwe defence forces chief Constantino Chiwenga speaks in a press conference in Harare, Zimbabwe | Image: Shaun Jusa/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Mr Mugabe is also set to host a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday at his official residence.

The 93-year-old has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since 1980, but events last week have brought him to the brink.

The vice president's sacking put Mugabe's unpopular wife, Grace, in prime position to succeed him.

The army promptly seized power and out Mr Mugabe under house arrest - but insisted it had not staged a coup.

Despite the impeachment machinery getting moving on Tuesday, lawyers have said it could take months to prise him from power.

Tarisai Mutangi, a constitutional lawyer, said: "He knows the law is on his side, that the constitution is on his side and that the kingpins of this process want to do it constitutionally, and that means it's going to take quite some time."

Under the Zimbabwean constitution, the president can be impeached for four things:

  • Serious misconduct
    Failure to obey, uphold or defend this constitution
    Willful violation of this Constitution
    Inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or mental incapacity