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JOINT SITTING 21 NOVEMBER 2017

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

JOINT SITTING OF THE SENATE AND THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HELD AT THE HARARE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE

 

Tuesday, 21st November, 2017

The National Assembly and Senate met at Half-past Four O’clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

MOTION

REMOVAL OF PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE

     HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: I move the motion standing in my name:

THAT WHEREAS Section 97 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20)   provides that the Senate and the National Assembly, by a joint resolution may resolve that the question whether or not the President should be removed from office for:

          a) serious misconduct;

          b) failure to obey, uphold or defend this Constitution;

          c) wilful violation of this Constitution; or

          d) inability to perform the functions of the Office because of physical or mental incapacity;

          should be investigated in terms of the said section.

          AND WHEREAS Section 97(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that upon passing of a resolution in terms of Section 97(2), the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must appoint a joint Committee of the Senate and the National Assembly consisting of nine Members reflecting the political composition of Parliament, to investigate the removal from office of the President.

          AND WHEREAS the following charges are laid against the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in terms of Section 97(1)(a), (b), (c), and (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

          a) Serious Misconduct

          i) The President abrogated his constitutional mandate to his wife who has made utterances on issues of Government like the appointment and dismissal of Government Ministers and   senior civil servants.

          ii) The President totally ignored all allegations of corruption and misappropriation of public funds e.g. the case of ZESA where five million United States dollars (USD 5, 000, 000.00) was unlawfully and corruptly released to a known convicted criminal and some of the money ended up in the responsible Minister’s bank account.

          iii) Allowing his wife to usurp Government functions and access classified and privileged information and the wife openly acknowledged it during numerous political rallies.

          iv) Allowing his wife to abuse State resources.

          v) Allowing his wife to insult and humiliate VP Mnangagwa and other Government Officials in public.

          vi) Allowing his wife to threaten to kill VP Mnangagwa and Government Officials.

          vii) Causing disaffection amongst the Defence Forces by allowing his wife to make reckless and false allegations against the country’s Defence Forces.

          viii) Harbouring fugitives Professor Jonathan Moyo and Mr. Saviour Kasukuwere from justice.

          (b) and (c) Failure to obey, uphold or defend this Constitution /willful violation of this Constitution

          i) Contrary to Section 308 (2) of the Constitution he directed, caused or acquiesced with Dr. I. C. M. Chombo to write to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZAAC) justifying unconstitutional and illegal misappropriation of Zimbabwe Manpower Development Funds (ZIMDEF) by Professor Jonathan Moyo thereby defeating the course of justice.

          ii) Contrary to Section 259 (7) as read together with Section 187 of the Constitution, he reversed the appointment of Prosecutor General Ray Goba to protect Professor Jonathan Moyo from prosecution.

          d) Inability to perform the functions of the Office because of physical or mental incapacity.

          i) Because of old age, he is unable to represent the State with decorum and dignity expected of the Office in that he has to be hand held by either his wife or an aide to avoid stumbling or falling.

          ii) Sleeps through deliberations in cabinet and at international meetings to the horror, shame and consternation of Zimbabwean people and all those people globally who have held him in high esteem as their role model.

          NOW THEREFORE, the Joint Sitting of Senate and the National Assembly resolves that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders appoints a Committee to investigate whether      the aforesaid allegations warrant the removal of the His Excellency, the President, Robert Gabriel Mugabe from office in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution.

     HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker Sir, for and on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe and in the Mighty Name of the Lord, I second the motion.

     HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, today is a historic day. It is tragic but unavoidable. No one and no one would have imagined that an iconic leader with illustrious liberation war credentials and a post-independence reverting record of reconciliation, national development, pan Africanism and international stature would end up being captured by his wife and a few misguided elements –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- to deviate from his constitutional duties leading to the introduction of this motion to remove the President from office to this august House for the purpose of protecting our Constitution. Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Members, accordingly I hereby introduce this motion. 

THAT WHEREAS Section 97(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 20 provides that the Senate and the National Assembly by a joint resolution may resolve that the question whether or not the President should be removed from office. These are the following reasons:

a)    Serious misconduct;

b)   Failure to obey, uphold or defend the Constitution;

c)    Willful violation of this Constitution; or

d)   Inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or mental incapacity.

These above should be investigated in terms of the said section.

          AND WHEREAS Section 97 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that upon passing of a resolution in terms of Section 97 (2), the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must appoint a joint committee of the Senate and the National Assembly consisting of nine members reflecting the political composition of Parliament, to investigate the removal from office of the President.

          AND WHEREAS the following charges are laid against the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in terms of Section 97 (1) (a), (b), (c), and (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

a)               Serious Misconduct

       i.            The President abrogated his constitutional mandate to his wife who has made public utterances on issues of Government like the appointment and dismissal of Government Ministers and senior civil servants.

    ii.            The President totally ignored all allegations of corruption and misappropriation of public

HON. MUTSVANGWA (SPKING)....2. The President totally ignored all allegations of corruption and misappropriation of public funds, for example the case of ZESA where US$5 million was unlawfully and corruptly released to a known convicted criminal and some of that money ended up in the responsible Minister’s bank account.

iii)  Allowing his wife to usurp Government functions and access classified and privileged information and the wife openly acknowledged it during numerous political rallies.

iv)  Allowing his wife to abuse State resources.

v)  Allowing his wife to insult and humiliate the Vice President of this country, Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa and other Government officials in public.

vi)  Allowing his wife to threaten to kill Vice President Mnangagwa and other Government officials.

vii)  Causing disaffection amongst the Defence Forces by allowing his wife to make reckless and false allegations against the country’s Defence Forces.

viii)  Harbouring fugitives Prof. Jonathan Moyo and Mr. Saviour Kasukuwere from justice.

(b) and (c)  Failure to obey, uphold or defend this Constitution, willful violation of this Constitution which we revere to so much as the Republic of Zimbabwe.

i)  Contrary to Section 308(2) of the Constitution he directed, caused or acquiesced with Dr. I. C. M. Chombo to write to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZAAC) justifying unconstitutional and illegal misappropriation of Zimbabwe Manpower Development Funds (ZIMDEF) by Prof. Jonathan Moyo, thereby defeating the course of justice.  We heard his wife - she became the judge to say they did not have a case to answer.

ii)  Contrary to Section 259(7) as read together with Section 187 of the Constitution, he reversed the appointment of Prosecutor General Ray Goba to protect Prof. Jonathan Moyo from prosecution.

d)  Inability to perform the functions of the Office because of physical or mental incapacity.

i)  Because of old age – (and we will all grow old, it is a process and there is nothing wrong with that) he is unable to represent the State with decorum and dignity expected of the Office of the President in that he has to be hand held by either his wife or an aide to avoid stumbling or falling.

ii)  We have seen our President sleeping through deliberations in Cabinet and even at international meetings - to the horror, shame and consternation of Zimbabwean people and all those people globally who have held him in high esteem as their role model.  We have even seen our President reading the wrong speech in Parliament.

Hon. Speaker Sir, if I may talk like a woman in politics, like the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus, takabviswa chimiro nemudzimai waPresident.  As women of Zimbabwe who have fought side by side with their male colleagues, as women of Zimbabwe who have also achieved education through Government policy through independence to promote the girl child, the women of this country do not deserve to have a woman who brings them down to just like people who shout all the time. 

Madzimai varimupolitics vanomirira vanhu.  The women in leadership are there for the interest of the people of this country.  When they demand to be also in decision making positions, they are not demanding for a favour, it is their right.  It is unfortunate that when one apple is rotten, there are some who would like to throw away the whole basket of apples.  Let us throw away the rotten apple.

NOW THERFORE, the Joint Sitting of the National Assembly resolves that the Committee of Standing Rules and Orders appoints a Committee to investigate whether the aforesaid allegations warrant the removal of His Excellency the President, Robert Gabriel Mugabe from office in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution.

Before I sit down, Mr. Speaker Sir, some of us who travel in SADC countries - because at the moment I am the Vice President of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, we have no words to justify the so called First Lady who goes to South Africa and beats up a girl, a citizen of that country.  That totally brought not just the women of Zimbabwe, but the women internationally, into disrepute. On this note, I beg to move my motion.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I want to remind our visitors in the public gallery to desist from cheering.  Only Members of Parliament can respond.  You will simply listen.

          HON. MARIDADI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I wish to bring to your attention Mr. Speaker the sad news of the passing on of the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, one of our Members here who should have been here to witness this momentous occasion but has not been able to be with us because the Lord has decided that he should be with the Lord.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Maridadi, I told your colleague there, Hon. Mliswa the procedure to be followed for that announcement.  Thank you.

          HON. MARIDADI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I stand guided by your wise counsel.  Fellow Zimbabweans, the time has come.  The time has come for all of us here collectively to put our signature on the departure of the man called Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the presidential candidate for 2018 for ZANU PF – we are sealing his fate and we are showing him the exit.

          Mr. Speaker, I rise here to debate and dedicate my debate to the memory of two great sons of the soil.  One of them is Lookout Mafela Masuku – a man with impeccable liberation war credentials.  He liberated this country from the yoke of colonialism, came back to Zimbabwe and was incarcerated by Robert Gabriel Mugabe.  The court found him not guilty, but Robert Mugabe decided to keep him in detention.  He was released and barely one week after his release, he died.  Robert Mugabe denied Lookout Mafela Masuku, a man with impeccable liberation war credentials, to be buried at the Heroes’ Acre and he lies buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo.

          Mr. Speaker, I dedicate my debate to the memory of 32 year old Itai Dzamara.  Mr. Speaker, Itai Dzamara disappeared for one reason and one reason alone - that Mugabe must go.  I had the privilege to talk to Itai Dzamara on the Thursday and then he disappeared on Saturday and he told me to say, “Mukoma James, we are on the dawn of a new era”, and sadly, Itai Dzamara cannot be with us today to witness this momentous occasion – very sad.

          Mr. Speaker, I then go on to the man called Robert Gabriel Mugabe.  As William Shakespeare said, ‘With one smiling eye and one drooping eye, I am saddened’.  It did not have to come to this.  Had President Mugabe listened - he did not listen because he thought that he knew it all.  Had President Mugabe listened, we would not be here today – he did not listen and I repeat this.  Whoever is going to come after President Mugabe, please, do not go this way.  You must listen to the people of Zimbabwe.  One man holds a country and 15 million people created in the image of the same Lord that created him to ransom.  One man Mr. Speaker, cows an entire nation – he incarcerates at will, he fires wantonly.

Mr. Speaker, R. G. Mugabe had become a source of insecurity in this country and I will explain why.  In a space of four years, he dismisses two Vice Presidents whom he appointed himself and he accuses them of wanting to kill him.  He dismisses a total of more than two dozen Ministers for plotting to kill him.  Ironically, barely two years later, he reappoints two of those Ministers into Cabinet without having them go to court.  I am talking here of Hon. Shamu and Hon. Dr. Chimedza.  They were dismissed for plotting to kill him, yet three years later; he brings them back into Cabinet before they could go to court.  What I am talking about is that the man Robert Mugabe has a very poor sense of judgement and it is that poor sense of judgement that he must be shown the exit.  I cannot wait to see his back.

          Mr. Speaker, when President Mugabe took over this country in 1980; the Zimbabwean dollar was at par with the American dollar and come to the British Pound, and the British Pound is the strongest currency in the world.  Barely 25 years later, we do not have a currency – it has disappeared and we are using the US dollar.  President Mugabe presided over a crumbling economy and not a single day did he say anything that would pluck this country from the doldrums.  All he was interested in was personal power.  President Mugabe was interested in his personal power, the safety of his children and wife and everything else followed.  He was not interested about the people of Zimbabwe and for that reason, President Mugabe must go. 

          Mr. Speaker, I quote from a senior African statesman Kenneth Kaunda and, President Mugabe you better listen.  Strong as you are in economic terms because you controlled the national purse and just recently, you appointed the poster-boy of Zimbabwean corruption to the national purse to head the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  Strong as you are in economic terms and strong as you are in military terms because you controlled the army, you controlled the police and you controlled the CIO; the masses of Zimbabwe have one superior weapon against you and Kenneth Kaunda calls it moral right.  The right of political morality is with the children of Zimbabwe and President Mugabe was presiding over a rotten system.  A system like that cannot be defended in the long term, and that is why we are here today to show him the exit.

          Mr. Speaker, I have had the privilege to sit in Parliament and when I sit in Parliament when President Mugabe comes to Parliament, I sit directly opposite him.  President Mugabe’s state of health is such that, he cannot run a country.  He tumbled at the airport, he wobbled when he was going to the podium at the United Nations and he had to be given assistance by his aides.  When he was in India, he wobbled going to the podium and he had to be assisted by the Indian Prime Minister in full view of the international community. 

There are 15 million Zimbabweans and most definitely one of us is able to run this country and that is why the Constitution of Zimbabwe says, for you to be President, you only need to have three things.  You have to be 40 years old, you need to be a citizen of Zimbabwe and you must be able to read and write.  It does not say what you are able to read or what you are able to write.  If you can write baba and you can write umama, you are able to be President.

          Mr. Speaker, they say in Shona, imbwa hadzisvinuri musi mumwechete.  I discovered that President Mugabe was not fit for the purpose in 1999 when I joined the MDC and that is what we have been saying.  My colleagues Mr. Speaker, to your right, only woke up last week and that includes you Mr. Speaker - [Laughter.] –

          Mr. Speaker, we were telling you to say, ‘Children of man, rise and smell the coffee – this man is no longer fit for the purpose.  My motion to impeach President Mugabe was dismissed from Parliament because it was said to be frivolous, but the issues that I wrote in that motion are replicated in this motion.  What has changed – it is the same President Mugabe that you said will be your presidential candidate in 2018 and it was the same Speaker of Parliament who presided over this impeachment today.  You dismissed my motion and Mr. Speaker, those things must be heard - [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Maridadi, you have to be honourable. When the motion was turned down, it was not exactly like what you suggested last Friday. Furthermore, we had a meeting this morning in which we said because there are two motions they should be rationalised. I think you need to be honourable and tell the truth please. Can you proceed with the motion?

          HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. We are at the dawn of a new era where children of Zimbabwe from different political persuasions do not have to be enemies. People must be tolerant of each other. The spirit that is displayed in Parliament Mr. Speaker, when we are debating is the spirit that must cascade and transcend as a nation. That is the spirit that we must see in Binga, Mabvuku, Dangamvura or Mufakose, the spirit of tolerance. President Robert Mugabe presided over basically three things; he was arrogant, he presided over patronage, impunity and entitlement. Those things cannot endure in a civilised society.

          Mr. Speaker, I am going to round up my debate by talking about the economic situation of this country. Ninety percent unemployment Mr. Speaker; a collapsing health service and that is why President Mugabe would go to Malaysia once every month for health checkups. A president of a country will use health facilities that he presides over. The next President of this country must go to Parirenyatwa, Harare or Bulawayo United Hospitals because those are the facilities that he presides over. The Minister of Local Government when he travels must use ZUPCO because those are the facilities that he presides over. The Minister of Transport, Hon. Joram Gumbo, when he flies to South Africa must fly on Air Zimbabwe not SA because Air Zimbabwe is the one that he presides over.

When the President leaves the country to seek health attention abroad, what is he talking about?         Mr. Speaker, what is good for the goose is good for gander. If the health facilities in Zimbabwe are not good enough for a President, who are they good for. They cannot be good enough for anyone. What it means is that we must all be in a queue going to Malaysia for health checkups because that is where the President goes.

The education system, Zimbabwe boasts of a 96% literacy rate of people that are not employed. Everyone has been turned into a vendor. President Mugabe reduced all of us to vagabonds. This is why even in Parliament you find Members of Parliament are always talking about their welfare. It is reflective of what is happening out there in the society. Mr. Speaker, I support this motion and would like to thank Hon. Mutsvangwa for moving this motion. Without delaying Members of Parliament from across the divide, it does not matter that you have only come alive recently but across the political divide, let us append our signatures and let your candidate for 2018 go and he must go now. I thank you.

HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My debate is going to be concise and precise but I debate this motion Hon. Speaker with a heavy heart. We did not expect that things would go this way especially considering the work that His Excellency had done for this country for the past 37 years. He was a revered African leader but unfortunately, he is leaving office the wrong way. It is sad and unfortunate Mr. Speaker, but it is an unavoidable process that Parliament should consider.

Mr. Speaker, I am guided by Section 119 of the Constitution which talks about the role of Parliament. One major role of Parliament is to ensure that we protect the Constitution. We are a constitutional democracy Mr. Speaker and where there is infringement of the Constitution, Parliament has a duty and obligation legally to move in, and this is what basically Parliament is trying to do because there is a lot of infringement in the Constitution.

So, I support the motion that Hon. Mutsvangwa has brought to the fore because we looked and saw a lot of misdemeanors and infringement in the Constitution which we must protect. We are bringing this motion before this august House in good faith Mr. Speaker Sir because of what had been singled out, the characters that came out of the motion that Hon. Mutsvangwa has brought to the fore. Section 3 (1) (h) of the Constitution talks about founding values of this important nation called Zimbabwe. There is one founding value that I want to discuss which talks about good governance. There is another value Mr. Speaker Sir, which talks about respect for the people.

Mr. Speaker Sir, as we govern, we draw our legitimacy from the people but when we do wrong, the people again have a legal moral right and obligation to withdraw that legitimacy. So, this is basically what we are doing as a nation – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – Mr. Speaker, quoting His Excellency’s words when he gave a press statement; he acknowledged that there is a crisis in this country. I would like in my debate to congratulate Gen. Constantino Guvheya Chiwenga for moving in very fast or swiftly to ensure that we remain a peaceful nation and rectify the problem that this nation faces.

Suffice to say, this motion Mr. Speaker should be supported from the Senate to the National Assembly, both Houses supporting it vigorously so that we live in a peaceful nation and these infringements should in any event be avoided with whoever shall be coming. Suffice to say Mr. Speaker Sir that ZANU PF is a party that can cleanse itself when there is any messy in the house and this is what ZANU PF has basically done and we should – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: I stand corrected. Indeed there was Hon. Senator Chipanga who is supposed to speak. Please proceed with your debate.

          HON. SEN. CHIPANGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise to add my voice to this very important motion raised by Hon. Mutsvangwa.  Mr. Speaker, like those who spoke before me, I rise to speak but with a very heavy heart.  This is because we are talking about a man with war credentials, a man who liberated this country, a man that I worked with for a long time but here we are.  We now find ourselves in a situation where he has just gone wrong.

          Mr. Speaker, we are all in a quandary where whilst we acknowledge that this was a man with war credentials, but as time went by, I suppose because of age, he began to flounder each and every time he took decisions.  Mr. Speaker, I am referring to particularly where one of his Vice Presidents, Vice President Mphoko was seen moving around police stations causing release of people who have been arrested – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear] – and he did nothing about it.  That was also evident that he was no longer the man that we all knew.     

Mr. Speaker, I also want to say it is unfortunate that Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe is now leaving office through the wrong door.  It has been my wish Mr. Speaker that he should have tendered his resignation so that by now we could be all clapping hands and say here is the man who liberated us, here is the man who led this country for so many years but now we find ourselves in a situation where we sit here and cause him to resign. 

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion I also want to thank the Army, particularly the Army Commander, General Constantino Chiwenga for taking this action.  This action he took, I want to say was not meant to simply remove the President but to ensure that ZANU PF is cleansed.  The party has now been taken over by people with no history, people who had no direction, people who did not know where they were going but here we are – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – We have now come to a stage where we have ended.  I thank you.

HON. MAJOME:  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to this very historic debate.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to begin by thanking the mover of this motion, Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa.  It makes me proud that a woman of Zimbabwe who also happens to be the leader of our Women Parliamentary Caucus has led this – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] – I also thank Hon. James Maridadi for seconding this motion and for his persistence to make sure that it brings all the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe who are all elected to serve Zimbabwe have taken time to put our minds and hearts together for the progress and indeed for the love of our great nation. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to speak possibly from a very emotional point of view.  The weight of history and responsibility and the weight of the aspirations, dreams and the fervent hope of this nation that this nation has had from before the liberation struggle are weighing heavily on me.  I feel privileged indeed to be in this august Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe that has this great opportunity before it to either allow Zimbabwe to sink into the oblivion of failed steps that the whole world is laughing at or to launch this great nation and release it into the future and into the promise that this great, gifted and blessed nation has so that it can stand head and shoulders and show the potential of each and every one of its gifted and talented people who seem to be progressing other nations across the world – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -

Mr. Speaker Sir, needless to say I am in support of this motion. I want to urge all the other Hon. Members of Parliament to continue doing what we are doing, that is, to put our individual opinions behind, our parties behind and even our preferences behind and put Zimbabwe ahead – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] – Therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, it is my humble submission that it is in the interests of this great nation waiting to take off and fly to pass this motion and allow His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe to take a dignified and graceful exit from the leadership of our nation and allow this country to proceed and therefore be impeached. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I do agree that regrettably, the President of Zimbabwe in my view is guilty of serious misconduct.  I will explain my reasons why I am supporting this motion.  I believe that it is serious misconduct to be in violation of Section 3 of the Constitution of our land, which requires that one of our founding values always is seen as good governance.  Mr. Speaker Sir, just walking outside this hotel, will show anyone that this country is not being governed well.  Just moving around gives the impression that this country – it is as if we are living in a country that has suffered possibly nuclear or bombing explosions.  If you walk just outside, near a certain party headquarters, the traffic lights and the lamp poles are worn out, broken, they are not repaired and there are potholes.  Everything Mr. Speaker Sir looks like this country has been ravaged by a storm or bombs but it has not been the case.  It is because of the way he has been governing – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe it is also a symptom of bad governance to burn precious and very scarce tax dollars.  We have a very shameful budget of only $4 billion when a country like Zambia across the road has a budget of $12 billion or $14 billion when us, a country that is richer not only in mineral wealth but in the human resources that we are, are sitting around to discuss crumbs of $4 billion that are not enough to do anything. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is bad governance to burn those scarce taxpayers dollars in holding party political rallies during business hours.  It is no secret Mr. Speaker Sir that there have been interfaces and meet the people tours by Government led by His Excellency, the President and his wife during working hours, during the week.  Even a country that has the highest Gross Domestic Product cannot afford to have its leader taking its Ministers across the country burning the little dollars that there are when the country is in ruin.

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is also bad governance and it was said by Hon. Maridadi to have the privilege of being able to go to the most expensive hospitals, such as in Singapore and have the most expensive health care when the nationals in the country that you are governing cannot even afford to buy panado.  The people who marched on the streets this last Saturday; this historic march are sick and tired of not having the capacity to get health care. Even in simple council clinics, people are suffering and it is not good governance to then be a leader of a country who is able to get luxury treatment all over when the 12 million inhabitants of your own country are not able to access even basic health care. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I sadly conclude that His Excellency is guilty of failing to obey, uphold or defend the Constitution.  I will just mention a few examples that support that he be impeached by this august House.  Mr. Speaker Sir, Section 17 of our Constitution requires that there shall be gender balance in all elected and appointed positions.  It is no secret that the President of Zimbabwe appointed his Cabinet initially with only three women and he said that there are no women to appoint. That is failure to uphold the Constitution. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- I will also not speak very much about the issue of falling asleep. I think we should talk about it. Zimbabwe had become a laughing stock in the world because of the fast movement of video images. His recent appearance at the United Nations General Assembly made each and every Zimbabwean clinch with embarrassment.

          If we do not impeach the President, Zimbabwe is going to continue being distinguished for dubious reasons, that is for having a President who sleeps at world functions when the rest of the world is discussing progress. His Excellency is unable to perform the functions of office. He is even forgetting the other values that require unity along good governance. For example, I was shocked to hear him mocking the Kalanga people of Zimbabwe saying that they are uneducated and they go across the borders, yet he forgets that he is the one who is responsible for spearheading that development that would allow Zimbabweans to stay in their country.

          He has also threatened High Court Judges. I remember when he unfortunately told them that, who is it who dares to judge a matter that involves fighting in ZANU PF functions? The Head of State must observe the independence of the other branches of Government. Recently, he threatened the possibility of free and fair elections in this country by declaring that he is the one who is going to determine who comes to observe the elections of Zimbabwe. This is in direct contravention of Section 239 (1) which requires that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is the one that has the authority to accredit observers of elections.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, even on dual citizenship, he was embarrassing the masses in South Africa showing that he is not aware that Zimbabweans are entitled to dual citizenship if they are born in Zimbabwe. His Excellency the President requires to be relieved of his duties. I end by a quote from William Shakespeare in his speech in Julius Caesar and it is to the august Members of this House. He said, “There is a tide in the affairs of men and women now that we are gender sensitive, which taken at large, leads to fortune but omitted one slice is bound in shallows and misery”.

This is such a tide I submit that the Parliament of Zimbabwe must take to impeach His Excellency the President so that our country grows to fortune and is not bound forever in shallows and miseries. Unfortunately, it is time and for the sake of Zimbabwe to move forward, His Excellency the President must be impeached.  I thank you. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me start by thanking Hon. Mutsvangwa and like what Hon. Majome said, it makes me really proud that in the spirit of Christianity, this is probably a Deborah moment, where women are taking charge and responsibility. So I thank you. [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-

Let me also use this opportunity Mr. Speaker to thank God for allowing me to witness this particular time and also to acknowledge the responsibility that rests on my shoulders as I take that responsibility.

Is it not ironic that, that particular organ of the State that was so despised is the one that holds the future...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Push the microphone nearer please.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Is it not ironic that it is that State organ, that one part of the organ of the State that was so despised, Parliament that today holds the future of this particular country. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- It is not time for being treated like the poor cousins of this country. We sit here today to take the final and most important decision that this country has ever needed. Mr. Speaker, the easiest thing to do is to vote for this impeachment because it is not new.

I am not starting today to speak about the issue that President Mugabe has violated the Constitution. Mine, unlike Hon. Maridadi, starts in 1983. This is the man who murdered 20 000 people during his reign. It is not new for me to speak about the impeachment of Robert Gabriel Mugabe because this the man who presided over the murders of people during what was called the land reform of 2000. Mr. Speaker, this is not new for me because this is the same man who was responsible for murdering people in the elections that followed 2002 and 2008.   

I need not be persuaded, bribed or cajoled - I am clear that he needs to go. So, while I stand up here, I did not have to stand up and sit but I stand up to speak because for me, this should be a real new beginning. I am not interested in the politicking of today. I am interested in saying beyond Robert Gabriel Mugabe, what will this country be tomorrow? We want to say, what will Robert Mugabe will be?

In fact, if I had a choice, I would not have allowed Hon. Maridadi to second this motion. I would have sat and said for now, I want those that have not understood me since 1983, to speak today as I listen to them. But, what I want is not a commitment from my other colleagues that have fought from 1983.  What I want today is a commitment that says from tomorrow this country will never be the same, that from tomorrow the basics of the liberation struggle which was to give dignity to a person to go and vote - one person one vote should be protected.

What is important is that at the moment...

Hon. Rtd. Brigadier General Bonyongwe and Hon. Chinamasa having approached the Chair -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Can I have a chance to just go through some correspondence for two minutes? Hon. Members, with the powers vested in me as the Presiding Officer now, I terminate business and want to notify you as follows.  I have received, in terms of the provisions of section 96 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Amendment No. 20 of 2013, a letter from the President of Zimbabwe:

“21st November, 2017

The Honourable Jacob Mudenda,

NOTICE OF RESIGNATION AS PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE IN TERMS OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 96 (1) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE, AMENDMENT (NO. 20) 2013.

          Following my verbal communication with the Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda, at 1353 Hrs, 21st November, 2017, intimating my intention to resign as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, in terms of Section 96 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, hereby formally tender my resignation as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect. [Applause]

          My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the People of Zimbabwe and my desire to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability.  Kindly give public notice of my resignation as soon as possible, as required by Section 96 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

          Yours faithfully,

          ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE

President of the Republic of Zimbabwe”

          In terms of the Constitution, it behoves the Speaker to make sure that the proper legal processes are put in place so that the country can proceed forward with a President in place and this will be done not later than end of the day tomorrow. Accordingly, business is suspended sine die.

Business was duly suspended at Ten Minutes to Six o’clock p.m. sine die.

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National Assembly Hansard JOINT SITTING 21 NOVEMBER 2017