Zimbabwe crisis: Emmerson Mnangagwa calls on Robert Mugabe to resign

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Sacked Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa joined a chorus of military leaders and politicians on Tuesday who have urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to resign.

“The people of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice and it is my appeal to President Mugabe that he should take heed of this clarion call by the people of Zimbabwe to resign, so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy,” Mnangagwa said in a statement.

Mnangagwa, who is not currently in Zimbabwe, said he fled the country because his life was threatened after being purged from the ruling ZANU-PF party. He confirmed that Mugabe invited him to return “for a discussion,” but that he would not do so unless his safety is guaranteed.

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Emmerson Mnangagwa (Getty Images/AFP/A. Joe)

Ex-VP Mnangagwa, known as ‘The Crocodile’ for his ruthlessness, is backed by the army

“I told the President that I would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired,” Mnangagwa said.

He added that “given the events that followed my dismissal I cannot trust my life in President Mugabe’s hands.”

Mnangagwa’s firing led to last week’s military takeover, setting off a chain of events to oust 93-year-old Mugabe from office. He is supported by the army and the influential war veterans association, both of which were afraid Mugabe might hand over power to his wife Grace Mugabe.

Impeachment to start

Mugabe’s once loyal ZANU-PF party is set to launch impeachment proceedings on Tuesday against the longtime leader who is still clinging to power after 37 years in office.

“The party has instructed the chief whip to proceed with impeachment processes,” ZANU-PF said in a statement, with the motion to be presented before parliament early Tuesday afternoon.

Mugabe’s government ministers have also been instructed by the party to boycott a Cabinet meeting called by the president.

A ZANU-PF’s chief whip Lovemore Matuke told the Associated Press that the ministers were told to attend a meeting to prepare impeachment proceedings instead.

On Sunday, Mugabe did not step down during a televised address and passed a deadline on Monday to resign.

rs/rt (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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