Remembering Mugabe resignation
THE cited letter written exactly one year ago yesterday, marked the end of the drama filled “Eight Days in November” when Mr Mugabe tendered his resignation as Head of State following a series of events that changed the nation’s course of history. On the day, an impeachment motion had been introduced during a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament but the debate on the motion was terminated after then Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Retired Major General Happyton Bonyongwe, handed the letter to Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda notifying him of Mr Mugabe’s resignation as President of the country.
The resignation paved way to the new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, appointed by the ruling Zanu-PF to succeed Mr Mugabe. This year saw the birth of the Second Republic when he won the Presidential elections of July 30.
The Zanu-PF party also swept Parliament with a crushing majority.
On his initial inauguration to finish Mr Mugabe’s term and later after winning the Presidential polls, President Mnangagwa preached the gospel of peace, unity, love and most importantly channelling energies towards the building of the economy.
The President also embarked on a re-engagement drive to mend relations with countries with whom diplomatic ties had collapsed at the same time strengthening those who had stood with the country over the years. The process was themed “Zimbabwe is Open For Business” the mantra adopted by President Mnangagwa to woo investors into the country following almost two decades of economic collapse.
This was coming against the background of chaos in the end of Mr Mugabe’s reign where a clique going by the G40 moniker had caused disruptions in the running of both party and seats in Government as they went about their destructive succession agenda.
The G40, led by the Former First Lady, Mrs Grace Mugabe, were taking advantage of Mr Mugabe’s advanced age to manipulate the former leader into fighting and purging leaders with strong liberation back grounds and replacing them with political neophytes.
In the eight days, a multi-pronged approach led to Mr Mugabe’s resignation starting with the warning by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), worried about the state of affairs in both party and country, that they would not hesitate to step in, in the defence of the national interests.
A day after the ZDF statement, the Zanu-PF Youth League fronted then by Mr Kudzanai Chipanga hit back at defence forces telling them to restrict themselves to security issues, a statement Mr Chipanga later distanced himself from, alleging that he had been coerced to read it.
On the following day, the Zimbabwe Defence and Security Services announced that they had stepped in with the launch of Operation Restore Legacy an intervention meant to arrest a potentially volatile, social, economic and political situation in the country.The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association held a press conference in Harare calling on Mr Mugabe to step down accusing him of subordinating his powers to his wife and members of the G40 cabal.
Eight out of 10 Zanu-PF provinces, on the following day held Coordinating Committees and resolved that Cde Mugabe be recalled as leader of the ruling party and President of the country.
They also called for Mrs Mugabe to be recalled as secretary for women’s affairs in the party and that members of the G40 faction be expelled from the party.
Zimbabweans marched on the streets of Harare, Bulawayo and other parts of the country on the following day in solidarity with the Zimbabwe Defence and Security Service and adding their voice to the calls for Cde Mugabe to step down.
The Zanu-PF Central Committee met and recalled Mr Mugabe from the position of party first secretary and replaced him with Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa whom the ruling party also reinstated as a Central Committee member.
Cde Mnangagwa was also endorsed to take over from Cde Mugabe as leader of Zanu-PF and President of the country and also as the party’s Presidential candidate in the 2018 elections.
Mrs Mugabe was removed from her position as secretary for women’s affairs and expelled for life for charges ranging from fanning factionalism and promoting hate speech.
The party also resolved to expel members of the G40 faction namely; then Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Saviour Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo, Ignatius Chombo, Patrick Zhuwao, Letina Undenge, Chipanga, Walter Mzembi, Paul Chimedza, Makhosini Hlongwane, Anastancia Ndlovu, Mandi Chimene, Samuel Undenge, Sarah Mahoka, Mpehlabayo Malinga, Xavier Kazizi, Tongai Kasukuwere and Innocent Hamandishe, Eunice Sandi Moyo and Shadreck Mashayamombe.
The meeting also gave Cde Mugabe up to Monday, November 19 to step down failure to which, Zanu-PF chief whip, Cde Lovemore Matuke, would initiate impeachment proceedings against him.
In a televised State of the Nation Address at State House on Sunday November 18, Mr Mugabe conceded that there was a crisis in the country and concerns raised by the ZDF and citizens relating to the state of the economy were genuine. He said Zimbabwe would chart a new path aimed at restoring normalcy in the country.
He finally resigned on November 21.