Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe looks on as he attends the 2nd Session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe binational Commission (BNC) on October 3, 2017 at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria. / AFP PHOTO / Phill Magakoe (Photo credit should read PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP/Getty Images)
Zimbabwe’s parliament has begun formal proceedings to impeach Robert Mugabe, with its speaker announcing to the house that a motion to remove the President from office has been brought forward by the war veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa and seconded by an opposition politician.
The full motion was expected to accuse Mr Mugabe of allowing his wife to “usurp” his position, and of being too old to effectively carry out his duties.
As politicians arrived at parliament on Tuesday afternoon to begin the impeachment proceedings, Zimbabweans attended a rally in the capital Harare in support of the motion and the actions of the military in placing Mr 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.
Earlier, in a bid to show he was still in control of the country, Mr Mugabe called a meeting of his Cabinet.
But the last gasp attempt to stay in power appears to have backfired. According to the Reuters news agency, only five ministers and the Attorney General answered Mr Mugabe’s call, with the 17 other members of Cabinet instead attending a meeting to plan the 93-year-old leader’s impeachment.
Lovemore Matuke, a senior official of the ruling Zanu-PF party told the Associated Press that “all” ministers snubbed the Cabinet meeting and instead heeded a directive to attend the party caucus – The Independent.