The Cipher Take

Our Daily Breakdown of Headlines Around the World

Headline: Impeachment Pending for Mugabe

Impeachment proceedings undertaken by Zimbabwe’s parliament against President Robert Mugabe are set to begin Tuesday in a process that could take as little as two days to complete. Mugabe is charged with attempting “to usurp constitutional power” after firing his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, seemingly paving the way for his wife, Grace Mugabe, to assume power.  Both Mnangagwa and Grace Mugabe had been seen as potential successors to the 93-year old president, but after President Mugabe fired his deputy, the military intervened and forced Mugabe into house arrest.

The Cipher Take:

The crisis in Zimbabwe began two weeks ago when Robert Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa, a move that angered several army commanders who viewed it as an attempt to position his 52-year-old wife as the country’s next president. Last week, soldiers placed President Mugabe under house arrest at his mansion near the capital, denying their actions amounted to a military coup. Zimbabwe's constitution allows for impeachment on grounds of “serious misconduct,” “violation” of the constitution or “failure to obey, uphold or defend” it. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years but his popularity has declined considerably as the country suffered significant economic setbacks. Mugabe’s impeachment could come as quickly as Wednesday, officials in the country have said. Furthermore, Mugabe’s end could send shockwaves across Africa where a number of entrenched strongmen, including Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila, are facing increasing pressure to resign their posts.

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