By Byron Mutingwende
President Mugabe shocked Zimbabweans and the world at large when he defied calls by the ruling party Zanu (PF) for him to step down as the president and first secretary and head of state and government and pave way for a new leader. His sympathisers were quick to say Mugabe would use his executive powers to dissolve Parliament but Christopher Mutsvangwa, the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Associations said the Constitution does not give him such powers while addressing journalists in Harare on Monday 20 November 2017.
“The Constitution does not give authority to one person to dissolve Parliament. As war veterans we are engaging our provincial chairpersons to canvass support from Parliament to lobby for the removal of Mugabe through impeachment. As a party, Zanu PF has already recalled President Mugabe and his wife Grace as well as one of the vice presidents, Phelekezela Mphoko,” Mutsvangwa said.
He called on the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai (MDCT), as the other party in Parliament to coordinate its efforts with Zanu (PF) in removing Mugabe as the head of state and government.
Mutsvangwa, who claimed that the war veterans have the deepest and broadest reach among Zimbabweans because of their participation in the liberation struggle, invited citizens from all walks of life to converge in their large numbers in Harare to protest against the continued stay in power of Mugabe
“The Zimbabwean people don’t want to see Mugabe in power any more. On ZBC TV, Mugabe pretended as if everything was okay. He should have the dignity and decency to spare the country from further turmoil by stepping down. He should settle his issues with the people of Zimbabwe. On TV, he swapped the agreed position to the chagrin and outrage of the whole world.”
The war veterans encouraged the Judiciary, Parliamentarians, war veterans, the business community and the general public to stage a sit-in until Mugabe is gone. They also called on the Diaspora to sponsor the masses to descend on Harare and give yet another clearer message of their disappointment with Mugabe and his “criminal G40 cabal” whose actions had allegedly caused untold suffering of the people due to the ever-deteriorating economy.
Mutsvangwa thanked Zimbabweans for their resilience and said the crass incompetence of the group of rulers called G40 goes beyond measure.
In an indirect defence of the military intervention, Mutsvangwa said the army only intervened to address the serious breakdown of the civil order and leadership vacuum that was being created by the G40 cabal that was clandestinely sabotaging the economy and sponsoring a parallel army to destabilise the country in typical “state capture” style.
“Mugabe in his winding statement admitted that he had become derelict of his executive duties, forcing the army commander to intervene to restore order and arrest the criminals. The Zimbabwe National Army is one of the most proficient armies in the world. The army is doing its job with impeccable finesse,” Mutsvangwa said.
He reminded people that the military are not the arbiters of the political destiny of the nation but the duty rested on the citizens, political parties and the Parliament.