Ncube believed Mugabe would declare state of emergency to avoid impeachment


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Movement for Democratic Change secretary general Welshman Ncube believed that President Robert Mugabe was likely to declare a state of emergency rather than allow impeachment proceedings in parliament.

He was talking to United States agency officials after the MDC gave notice that it was going to introduce impeachment proceedings against Mugabe in Parliament in October 2000, just four months after it had nearly swept the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front out of power.

The impeachment process could be kicked off by 50 Members of Parliament, but a two-thirds majority was required for the actual impeachment.

The MDC had 57 seats which meant that its MPs could get parliament to set up a special committee to determine the grounds for impeachment, but it needed 43 ZANU-PF legislators to support it to impeach Mugabe.

Ncube said Mugabe was not going to allow this because ZANU-PF was not ready for elections as it was more afraid of defeat than it had been at the June elections.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE5951, IMPEACHMENT OF MUGABE LOOMING

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

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

 

>

 

(10 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
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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