29 September 2016
Petition to Impeach the President for failure to uphold the Constitution of Zimbabwe
We the undersigned church organisations hereby petition the two houses of Parliament to trigger the powers vested in legislature under Section 97 of the Constitution. More particularly, we believe there is basis to enquire into the question of whether the President is still fit for office in accordance with Section 97 of the Constitution. We believe there is strong basis to impeach the President for failing to uphold his constitutional duties and discharge his duties in accordance with the law. In terms of that section, the Senate and National Assembly may impeach the President on any of the following grounds:
(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;
It is our considered view that the President should be impeached on the basis of Section 97( b-d) in that he has failed to uphold the Constitution, he has wilfully violated it and clearly is now physically and mentally incapacitated to carry out his duties due to his advanced age.
2. Basis of impeachment
In terms of Section 90 of the Constitution, the President has an obligation uphold, defend, obey and respect this Constitution as the supreme law of the nation and must ensure that this Constitution and all the other laws are faithfully observed. He is obligated to ensure the well-being of all the people of Zimbabwe; more particularly he is obligated to ensure protection of the fundamental human rights and freedoms and the rule of law. It is quite clear that the President has abdicated on his duties in a number of ways but more particularly in that:
• He has violated the people’s socio-economic rights as he has presided over the collapse of the economy. We have witnessed the economy crumbling to abysmal levels resulting in the current 90% unemployment rate. In his Manifesto of the 2018 elections, he promised over 2 million jobs and yet we have witnessed massive job losses over the past two years.
• He has failed to uphold the peoples’ rights to express themselves and to freely associate as provided for by the Constitution. His recent threats on church leaders and war veterans over their expression of the deteriorating socio- economic and political situation is a behaviour that does not suit statesmanship associated with the high office that he occupies. We are currently witnessing serious threats on fundamental tenets of constitutional democracy such as separation of powers, through his threats on the judiciary services and his abuse of the police to illegally interfere in peaceful demonstrations. The state has continued with impunity to brutalise people for carrying out peaceful demonstrations, even after the court would have granted the order to carry out the same.
• Quite clearly, due to his old age, he is increasingly becoming incapacitated to reign in on some rogue elements within his party and the continued intra-party fights have left the economy unattended, a situation that might result in civil unrest as the populace is becoming increasingly restive. It is inconceivable that a President can read the same speech twice as he did during the State of Nation Address without noticing it. This can only be attributed to his advanced age which points to someone who can no longer be held to be fit to hold office.
Wherefore we call upon the two houses of the legislature to specifically trigger the provisions of Section 97 of the Constitution and commence processes to impeach the President.
For and on behalf of church organisations:
1. Zimbabwe Divine Destiny
2. Zimbabwe Christian Alliance
3. Christian Voice
4. Prayer Network of Zimbabwe
5. Zimbabwe Pastors’ Fellowship
Source – Churches