FORMER Education minister David Coltart has urged the opposition to take advantage of Zanu-PF’s current internal fights to mobilise disgruntled ruling party legislators and push for President Robert Mugabe’s impeachment.
Coltart argued the nation faced a grave constitutional crisis following a rare statement of discontent by Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga, who warned that the military would not hesitate to “step in” to rein in “counter-revolutionaries” posing a threat to Zanu-PF party and the country.
“It is important, therefore, that the opposition speak with one unequivocal voice that the military needs to stay out of politics and be confined to barracks. However, that will not deal with the crisis our nation faces, made worse now by this statement of discontent by the military. What then is the constitutional way out of this mess?” Coltart argued in his analysis posted in the social media.
“Zimbabwe simply cannot afford to have a de jure or de facto coup; once any change of power in any nation comes through a means other than the strict fulfilment of the Constitution, in letter and spirit, a dangerous precedent is set which is hard to reverse.”
He added: “Furthermore, I suspect that if all MDC-T, MDC and independent MPs and Senators join forces with disaffected Zanu-PF MPs and Senators (who quietly support former Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Joice Mujuru) it may be possible for them to achieve the required two-thirds majority to remove Mugabe from office.”
Coltart argued if Mugabe does not resign, the only remaining lawful and constitutional method is to impeach him in terms of section 97 of the Constitution.
“In my view, if President Mugabe refuses to accede to the military’s demands this is the only lawful means for those within Zanu-PF, who are annoyed by President Mugabe’s recent decisions to address the situation.
“The opposition, of course, will play a role in this if it indicates that it will support any resolution brought by Zanu-PF members to remove President Mugabe from office. It seems to me that it will be relatively easy to get the initial simple majority in Parliament to start the impeachment process,” Coltart said.