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Published On: Mon, Sep 5th, 2016

Mugabe threats re-ignite impeachment calls

HARARE – Opposition political parties — stung by a recent ban on demonstrations in Harare and President Robert Mugabe’s rant against the judiciary — say the situation is ripe to put in motion the impeachment of the Zanu PF leader.

MP for Mabvuku, James Maridadi, has been leading calls for Mugabe to be impeached, arguing that he is no longer fit to remain as president.

The former radio presenter has found voices and support from lawyers — including MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu — following Mugabe’s threats against judges whom he accuses of being negligent by granting orders allowing demonstrations.

“The number one job of any president is to uphold the Constitution of that particular country and when the president starts to go against the Constitution then he is no longer fit for purpose, more the reason why in my impeachment motion, I cite issues of the Constitution that the president has gone against,” Maridadi told the Daily News yesterday.

“And on that score alone, I have two options, either he (Mugabe) must resign of his own accord or I must push him out through the impeachment, but knowing that he will not do the former, the later will be the only way to go,” Maridadi said.

Mugabe, 92, is struggling to fend off rising protests against his long time rule which his rivals say has been disastrous.

Last week, police invoked Statutory Instrument 101A — banning demonstrations in central Harare for two weeks until 16 September — just hours before 18 opposition political parties were due to hold a mega demonstration in the capital.

And on Saturday, speaking a few hours after he arrived back in the country from Dubai, where he had spent three days amid swirling rumours regarding his health, Mugabe told the gathered Zanu PF youths that courts were being negligent by allowing demonstrations to go ahead.

“Of course, we can’t allow them (the opposition) to continue with these violent demonstrations unimpeded. Enough is enough,” he thundered.

But Maridadi said Mugabe, as a qualified lawyer, should practice constitutionalism by the upholding the Constitution.

“The president is a person who is said to have read and passed a law degree but surprisingly he is one person who does not respect the rule of law. It’s not surprising that he is threatening judges so that they give judgments that go against both the letter and spirit of the Constitution,” he said.

Gutu said Mugabe has never had any serious or genuine respect for the country’s Constitution.

“He has always taken Zimbabwe as his personal fiefdom. Of course, there are very compelling reasons for Mugabe to be impeached. He has taken an oath to respect and uphold the Constitution and he is also constitutionally obliged to respect the supreme law of the land,” Gutu told the Daily News.

“However, when he feels that his hold on power has become weak and tenuous, he doesn’t hesitate to flagrantly violate the country’s Constitution. Put simply, he has degenerated into a rogue head of Stat‘Courts too hostile for doctors’ – Daily News