The newly appointed leader of Zanu-PF Emmerson Mnangagwa has affirmed the right of Zimbabweans protesting against the rule of President Robert Mugabe and called Parliament the ultimate expression of their will as it prepares for the president’s impeachment.
“I am aware that Parliament intends to impeach the president. Parliament is the ultimate expression of the will of the people outside an election,” Mnangagwa said a statement believed to have been released by the former vice president on Tuesday morning.
“I am aware that the nation at large has been protesting against the incumbent and I believe they have a right to protest in terms of our Constitution,” Mnangagwa said.
The Zimbabwean Parliament is set to meet at just after 14:00 on Tuesday to get the impeachment proceedings underway.
In the statement Mnangagwa states that he has been in touch with the embattled president and that Mugabe had invited him for a discussion.
“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.
‘The people have spoken’
On Monday, Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxillia, told News24 that she couldn’t confirm whether or not he was in the country or his whereabouts because of safety concerns.
Mnangagwa said he told Mugabe “the current political and constitutional crisis” wasn’t a matter between the two of them, but one between Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe.
“The people of Zimbabwe have clearly spoken on this matter,” he said.
“To me the voice of the people is the voice of God and their lack of trust and confidence in the leadership of President Mugabe has been expressed,” Mnangagwa said.
He said the people of Zimbabwe had spoken with one voice and he pleaded with Mugabe to take” heed of the clarion call by the people of Zimbabwe to resign”.
“I look forward to returning home soon and to join in the struggle for the economic revival of our country,” he said.
Mnangagwa said he told Mugabe he had two choices: to cooperate and preserve his legacy or to continue to dig in and possibly face humiliation.