By Farayi Machamire
Church leaders say they will petition Parliament to impeach President Robert Mugabe after the 92-year-old leader ignored their September 28 ultimatum to initiate dialogue and address issues that triggered the escalating civil unrest.
The clergymen — Ancelimo Magaya, Kudakwashe Makuwe, Useni Sibanda and Tedious Munemo — said persistent efforts to appeal to the nonagenarian’s conscience have yielded nothing.
“We have been forced to exercise our democratic right to petition Parliament to impeach the president,” said Magaya, a leader of the Zimbabwe Divine Destiny (ZDD) church, yesterday.
“Tomorrow (today), we are making a submission to Parliament. We are doing what is right. We are quite cognisant of the disparity in numbers in Parliament but God will hold our parliamentarians responsible if they don’t act,” he said.
In the past months, long-suffering Zimbabweans have taken to the streets in protest against Mugabe’s failed 36-year leadership.
They accuse him of grossly mismanaging the country’s once flourishing economy, turning a blind eye to police brutality, failure to deal with rampant glaring corruption within his Zanu PF government and reducing Zimbabweans to paupers.
Due to this rising civil unrest, the church leaders — most of whom have skirted political issues — called on Mugabe to initiate national dialogue and stop the repressive police brutality.
In an open letter to Mugabe last week, the church leaders told the president that “if you fail to address these issues by September 28, we will be forced to exercise our democratic right to petition Parliament to impeach you”.
But their call for impeachment is an uphill and almost improbable task as it will need one third of the total membership of Parliament to be able to introduce the motion.
If at all the motion is debated and Parliament needs to vote to remove Mugabe — Zimbabwe’s only president since independence from the British in 1980 — that vote must be supported by two thirds of the total membership, including the Senate.
Already, the opposition lacks the numbers to push this agenda but MDC legislator Godfrey Sithole is on record saying Mugabe now lacks support from his own Zanu PF MPs to the extent that he can be unseated if a secret ballot is used in the motion to impeach him.
In the open letter to Mugabe, the clergymen said they were concerned about the political and socio-economic crisis that has reached levels that threaten survival of the hapless masses and ultimately peace of the nation.
“(We are) disturbed by the increasingly restive populace and the brutal show of force by State machinery. (We) do call upon you, Mr President, to humbly admit before God and the Zimbabwean populace that the country is in a dire situation that requires an extraordinary collective response to rescue it from total collapse that may trigger regrettable spontaneous civil unrest,” they said.
“We also want to appeal to your conscience to repent before God for having presided over massacres in Matabeleland during the mid-1980s, maimings, torture, abductions and killings that have become a part of your government.
“On the basis of the prophetic mandate endued on the church, we warn that God’s judgment is imminent if you will not repent.”
“Also, be reminded of the word of God which says that he will punish the children because of the sins of their fathers, down to the third and fourth generations.
“We pray that your children will come to the knowledge of the Lord so that they escape from the curse associated with your sins,” they said. Daily News