MDC prepares to impeach Mugabe

Movement for Democratic Change legislator for Harare Central Mike Auret told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald that his party was planning to impeach President Robert Mugabe and had gathered overwhelming evidence to prove that he was behind the violence in the run-up to the 2000 elections.

He said the party intended to get the motion on a secret ballot so that Members of Parliament from both sides, MDC and ZANU-PF, could vote without fear of retribution.

He said if 50 MPs voted in favour, a special committee could be set up to determine whether the grounds for impeachment existed.

The MDC on its own already had 57 seats, but Auret said even if a few ZANU-PF MPs voted with the MDC this would be a major blow to Mugabe.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE5951, IMPEACHMENT OF MUGABE LOOMING

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE5951

2000-10-23 14:51

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

231451Z Oct 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO0518

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05951 231447Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   DCP-01

NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00

DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /008W

------------------959E8A 231448Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7427

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 005951

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/23/10

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: IMPEACHMENT OF MUGABE LOOMING

 

REFTEL: HARARE 5829

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05951 231447Z

CLASSIFIED CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING. REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) IN A MEETING OCTOBER 23, MDC MP FOR HARARE

CENTRAL MICHAEL AURET INFORMED POLOFF THAT THE MDC PLANS

TO GIVE NOTICE OCTOBER 24 IN PARLIAMENT THAT IT WILL

TABLE A MOTION FOR THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT MUGABE

THE FOLLOWING WEEK. AURET CLAIMED THAT THE MDC HAS

COMPILED "OVERWHELMING" EVIDENCE THAT MUGABE DIRECTED

THE CAMPAIGN OF MASS TERROR AGAINST FARMERS, THEIR

WORKERS, AND OTHER OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS IN THE RUN-UP

TO THE JUNE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. THE MDC

PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION WILL ATTEMPT TO GET THE MOTION

ON A SECRET BALLOT SO THAT MPS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE

AISLE CAN VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE WITHOUT FEAR OF

RETRIBUTION. THE SPEAKER AND DEPUTY SPEAKER WERE

ELECTED BY SECRET BALLOT, AURET SAID, AND HE HOPED THAT

THE SAME COULD BE DONE WITH THE IMPEACHMENT MEASURE. IF

AT LEAST 50 MPS VOTE IN FAVOR, THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES

THAT A SPECIAL PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE BE ESTABLISHED TO

DETERMINE WHETHER THE GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT EXIST. A

SEPARATE VOTE OF TWO-THIRDS OF PARLIAMENT (100 VOTES)

WOULD THEN BE REQUIRED TO IMPEACH MUGABE. THERE ARE NOT

ENOUGH MPS WILLING TO CROSS THE AISLE TO IMPEACH MUGABE,

BUT IF EVEN A FEW ZANU-PF MPS VOTED WITH THE MDC ON THIS

ISSUE, IT WOULD BE A MAJOR BLOW TO THE PRESIDENT, AURET

OPINED.

 

2. (C) MDC MP TENDAI BITI TOLD USAIDOFFS THAT THE MDC

PLANS TO TABLE A SECOND MOTION THAT WOULD CLARIFY THE

STANDING RULES ON IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE, WHICH IS NOT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 05951 231447Z

SPELLED OUT IN DETAIL IN THE CONSTITUTION. ACCORDING TO

BITI, THE MDC IS SEEKING AN IMPEACHMENT COMMITTEE

REPRESENTATIVE OF THE NUMBER OF SEATS IT HAS IN

PARLIAMENT AND ONE THAT CAN HOLD HEARINGS OPEN TO THE

PUBLIC. CURRENTLY, THE SPEAKER HAS THE POWER TO APPOINT

ALL THE SEATS ON THE COMMITTEE, AND HE COULD ALSO SHELVE

THE ISSUE WITHOUT DEBATE. THE MDC DOES NOT EXPECT TO

ACTUALLY REMOVE MUGABE FROM OFFICE THIS WAY, BUT IT

HOPES TO MAKE THE PROCESS MORE DEMOCRATIC, SAYS BITI.

WELSHMAN NCUBE, THE MDC SECRETARY-GENERAL, TOLD

USAIDOFFS THAT HE DOES NOT BELIEVE MUGABE WOULD DISSOLVE

PARLIAMENT TO HEAD OFF IMPEACHMENT. SUCH A MOVE WOULD

REQUIRE NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS TO BE HELD WITHIN 90

DAYS, AND ZANU-PF IS MORE AFRAID OF AN ELECTION DEFEAT

NOW THAN IT WAS IN JUNE, ACCORDING TO NCUBE. INSTEAD,

THE ZANU-PF POLITBURO WAS DUE TO HAVE MET THIS PAST

WEEKEND TO DEBATE THE DECLARATION OF A STATE OF

EMERGENCY TO SHORT-CIRCUIT THE IMPEACHMENT EFFORT BEFORE

IT REACHES THE FLOOR OF PARLIAMENT NEXT WEEK, ACCORDING

TO NCUBE. (COMMENT: WE HAVE NOT HEARD WHETHER THIS

MEETING IN FACT TOOK PLACE. END COMMENT.)

 

3. (C) COMMENT: NCUBE'S REMARKS MAKE SENSE TO A POINT:

MUGABE IS MORE LIKELY TO DECLARE MARTIAL LAW BEFORE HE

DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT TO STAVE OFF HIS IMPEACHMENT. (A

STATE OF EMERGENCY WOULD REQUIRE PARLIAMENT'S APPROVAL,

WHEREAS MARTIAL LAW WOULD NOT.) HOWEVER, IT IS

DEBATABLE WHETHER MUGABE WOULD GO TO SUCH LENGTHS BEFORE

PARLIAMENT ACTS ON A MEASURE THAT HAS LITTLE CHANCE OF

SUCCESS. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT IS POSSIBLE TO IMAGINE A

SCENARIO IN WHICH A LARGE NUMBER OF ZANU-PF "YOUNG

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 05951 231447Z

TURKS" (SEE REFTEL) VOTE FOR THE IMPEACHMENT MEASURE

NEXT WEEK ON A SECRET BALLOT, AND THE MDC FOLLOWS

THROUGH ON ITS MASS ACTION PLANS AT THE SAME TIME.

ALTHOUGH WE JUDGE THE PROBABLITY OF IT COMING OFF AS

LOW, THIS SITUATION COULD MAKE MUGABE FEEL THREATENED

ENOUGH TO IMPOSE MARTIAL LAW. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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