BY BLESSED MHLANGA/ SHARON SIBINDI
FORMER President Robert Mugabe refused to resign even though he was in the middle of a military coup, leaving the military with no option but to rely on the impeachment process for him to be removed, a parliamentarian has said.
Norton independent legislator and former (Mashonaland West) Zanu PF provincial chairperson, Temba Mliswa, bust the Zanu PF and army bubble saying their coup had failed after Mugabe refused to go.
Mliswa made the remarks during an all-stakeholders post-election workshop hosted by the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn) in Bulawayo last week.
“I want to address the issue that the army was part of the process of ensuring that there was a second republic so were all of us,” he said.
Mliswa said he was baffled by claims that the military and Zanu PF were the only ones who forced Mugabe out, indicating that had it not been for all parliamentarians and citizens who participated in demonstrations and impeachment process, Mugabe would not have been moved an inch.
Mugabe was kicked out of power in November 2017 in a coup, eventually endorsed by the courts and African leaders.
He had, however, stubbornly refused to step down carrying on with presidential duties such as attending a Zimbabwe Open University graduation ceremony and even called for Cabinet while army tanks were on the streets.
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Mliswa said only the people and parliamentarians managed to push the former President into resignation.
“Then there was the people’s march, the people’s revolutions, led by the war veterans and everybody involved. It was the first time to see Members of Parliament coming together. … the issue of impeachment was first started by James Maridadi (MDC-T) and I seconded it, when the army failed to remove the former President, and I say this for the first time; they failed. He [Mugabe] refused to go, that was when there was an impeachment process,” he said.
He accused the army and Zanu PF of lying that it was them who removed Mugabe from power.
“To lie everyday yet there’s evidence when army wanted to remove Mugabe, did he go? Let’s be honest. That is why I get too emotional at Parliament, it’s because of lies,” he said.
Mliswa said the whole scenario in Zanu PF was confusing at the time because the same people (Zanu PF) who had pushed for now President Emmerson Mnangagwa to be ousted, were the same people who overwhelmingly endorsed him to replace Mugabe both in government and the party.
Mliswa said such behaviour shows that there is a lot of lies being peddled over the Mugabe’s resignation and the military action, among others.