Former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).
Ousted Zimbabwe vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday piled on pressure on President Robert Mugabe to resign, saying Zimbabweans no longer had faith in his leadership as the ruling ZANU-PF MPs prepared to begin impeachment processes against their 93-year old leader.
Mnangagwa, whose dismissal precipitated a de facto coup by the army spooked by the possibility of a Grace Mugabe presidency, also ruled out returning to the country until his personal security is guaranteed, saying he skipped the country after being informed of plans to 'eliminate' him.
Army chief General Constantino Chiwenga on Monday evening suggested that Mnangagwa could return to the country for a face-to-face meeting with Mugabe.
"In my contact with President Mugabe I told the President that the current political and constitutional crisis in the country is not a matter between him and myself but between the people of Zimbabwe and President Mugabe," Mnangagwa said in a statement.
"The people of Zimbabwe have clearly spoken on this matter. 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."
The statement comes after the ruling ZANU-PF party on Sunday voted to dismiss Mugabe as its leader and is set to begin the impeachment process to remove him as head of state and government after he ignored a Monday deadline to resign.
Mugabe called a Cabinet meeting at the State House on Tuesday, but several ministers told The Source they would not be attending, and are focussed on the impending impeachment proceedings against the president. It is still unclear if anyone attended the meeting, which was scheduled to begin at 0930.
"The people of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice and it is my appeal to President Mugabe that he should take heed of this clarion call by the people of Zimbabwe to resign so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy. ... The legacy or our struggle to unite the land with the people and the people with their land ... and our Government can
be saved if His Excellency choses to do the right thing," said Mnangagwa.
"His Excellency, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe has always said that if the people don't want him he will leave office, now that they have spoken he must now accept the will of the people and resign. President Mugabe in his televised State of the Nation Address admitted to a number of a latent disregard to the interest of the people and dereliction of duty, surely after
making such an admission common sense dictates that it should have been followed by an apology and immediate resignation to save the legacy of our struggle."
Editors Note: In the story "undefined" sent at: 21/11/2017 11:02
This is a corrected repeat.