Zimbabwean presidential spokesperson George Charamba has advised former President Robert Mugabe to approach the courts of law if he feels that his successor’s administration lacks constitutional legitimacy.
Charamba told state media at the weekend that it was absurd for Mugabe to place himself above the entire state and polity and arrogate power to bestow legitimacy. Mugabe last Thursday invited international media and a few local journalists from the private media to his residence known as Blue Roof and charged that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to the presidency last November was a military coup since he had done it with the assistance of the army.
He added that people should be properly elected in a constitutional way to lead the country and he was willing to assist in bringing legality to the process that led to his ouster. “I don’t hate Emmerson. I brought him into government. I would want to work with him but he must be proper. He is improper where he is. Illegal!,” Mugabe charged. “And if it is to correct that illegality that he would want me to discuss with him, I’m willing. We must undo this disgrace which we have imposed on ourselves. We don’t deserve it,” he said.
However, Charamba told The Sunday Mail in an interview that he had noted that Mugabe had called for a meeting with Mnangagwa “to cleanse what he calls an unconstitutional order”. “Well, far be it from me to prevent any meeting between the President and any Zimbabwean, least of all his former boss.
“However, looking at it from a commonsensical point of view, I can’t see how an order which is allegedly unconstitutional gets cleansed by a meeting of two individuals over a cup of coffee. “That is to assume that the two, in the sum, constitute the State and the two define constitutionalism.
“Is this not really an issue that he should take to the courts for them to determine? But as I said, this is just me.”
Law Society of Zimbabwe president Misheck Hogwe also said Mugabe’s statements had no legal basis. “The old man resigned and according to the laws of the country, the ruling party has to replace the president as we witnessed by the elevation of President Mnangagwa. “The fact that President Mnangagwa was sworn in by the Chief Justice, who was appointed by Mugabe himself, makes the former president’s statements worthless.
“His statements are coming from a disgruntled person who should not be taken seriously. There is no other way the President can be legitimized other than by what happened.” Mnangagwa had issued an earlier statement Friday dismissing Mugabe’s claims of illegality, adding that he was free to express his opinion like any other citizen.
He said Mugabe had on Nov. 21, 2017, tendered his resignation in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe had moved on and was focusing on preparations for free and fair elections set for mid-year.”This is a key step in the immense task at hand, which is to lift our people from the effects of years of severe economic regression and international isolation,” said Mnangagwa.