Zimbabwe’s catch 22- how to legally get Mugabe to leave office


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Result of Impeachment

If President Mugabe leaves office through impeachment, a Vice-President takes over as Acting President [paragraph 14(4) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution].  All the Ministers who were appointed by him will stay in office, and so will the one remaining Vice-President, Mr Mphoko.  The fact that he may be outside the country, or in detention, or stripped of his party position and membership does not alter his status as Vice-President.  If Vice-President Mphoko were to resign then there would be no Vice-President, and only a President can appoint another Vice-President.

If there were no Vice-President to act as President, the remaining Cabinet Ministers would have to appoint one of themselves as Acting President in terms of section 100(1)(c) of the Constitution.  Such an Acting President could appoint a Vice-President, but only with the approval of a majority of the Cabinet. 

A much simpler option would be if Mr Mugabe were to retire and appoint a new Vice-President before doing so.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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