Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe came under increasing pressure to quit Monday as his ruling party said it would move to impeach him and the army revealed his likely successor would soon return to the country.
In a televised address late Sunday, the 93-year-old president had flouted expectations he would step down after the military’s takeover, pitching the country into a second week of political crisis.
Lawmakers from his ruling ZANU-PF party said that they would take the first steps on Tuesday to force Mugabe from office after he ignored their ultimatum to resign.
“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,” said another government MP, MacKenzie Ncube, speaking to AFP after a meeting of lawmakers who until recently were his fiercely loyal supporters.
On Monday evening, army chief Constantino Chiwenga said that progress had been made in talks towards an apparent deal over Mugabe’s exit.
Chiwenga also said the president was in touch with Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ousted vice president whose sacking triggered the military takeover and Mugabe’s loss of power.
“The security services are encouraged by new developments which include contact between the president and the former vice president… who is expected in the country shortly,” Chiwenga said.
“Thereafter the nation will be advised of the outcome of talks between the two.”
Chiwenga called for calm after Zimbabweans had celebrated Saturday at huge anti-Mugabe marches that would have been brutally repressed just a week ago.
Their joy quickly turned to despair as Mugabe brushed aside the turmoil, blithely declaring on Sunday he would chair a top-level meeting of the party that had just disavowed him.
Source: ( AFP )