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Live Reporting

By David Molloy, Emma Owen, Farouk Chothia and Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

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  1. How to impeach a president

    A woman looks out next to a mural of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in Mbare, a impoverished township, in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 21, 2017
    Image caption: President Robert Mugabe has refused to yield to pressure to resign

    Veritas, a non-governmental organisation which provides legal services to Zimbabweans, has outlined how a president is impeached:

    "Under section 97 of the Constitution impeachment is a three-stage process:

    1. First, the Senate and the National Assembly must meet in a joint sitting and resolve, by a simple majority of their total membership, that the president should be removed from office on any one or more of four grounds:

    a. serious misconduct

    b. failure to obey, uphold or defend the Constitution

    c. wilful violation of the Constitution

    d. inability to perform his duties because of physical or mental incapacity.

    [Note: An arguable case could be made for charging President Mugabe with all four grounds]

    2. Once a resolution has been passed, Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must appoint a nine-member committee of Senators and members of the National Assembly to investigate the removal of the President.

    Although section 97 of the Constitution does not say so, the committee would have to give the President a full opportunity to respond to the allegations against him – he has a right to a fair hearing under section 69 of the Constitution.

    3. If the committee recommends that the President should be removed from office, the Senate and National Assembly must meet, again in joint session, to deliberate the recommendation, and if in that joint session they resolve by a two-thirds majority of their total membership to adopt the recommendation then the President immediately ceases to hold office.

    Locals hold hands as they attend a prayer meeting called to force Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to resign outside Parliament Building in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 20, 2017.
    Image caption: Zimbabweans of all races have united to demand an end to the president's rule

    Impeachment is an elaborate process and would take time to complete. How long is difficult to say, because Parliament’s Standing Orders do not specify what notice must be given of impeachment motions, nor how joint sittings of the two Houses are convened - in fact they do not deal with impeachment at all.

    In the absence of a laid-down procedure, presumably the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, the Speaker and the staff of Parliament will make it up as they go along. Nonetheless the process would need at least several days to complete bearing in mind that:

    An impeachment motion, like all motions, requires at least a day’s notice to be given before it is debated [perhaps Parliament would waive this requirement].

    · Detailed grounds of impeachment would have to be prepared.

    · A joint sitting would have to be arranged

    · An investigation committee would have to be appointed.

    · The committee would have to investigate the grounds of impeachment and give the President an opportunity to state his case [and the President would have no incentive to be brief] and to prepare a report to Parliament.

    · Another the joint session would have to be convened to consider and vote on the committee’s report.

    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe delivers his State of the Nation address in Parliament in Harare on August 25, 2015. Zimbabwe's long ruling President Robert Mugabe was booed and heckled by opposition legislators over the deteriorating economy whilst presenting his state of the nation address in parliament
    Image caption: Mr Mugbabe usually delivers the state of the nation address in parliament

    Result of Impeachment

    If President Mugabe leaves office through impeachment, a Vice-President takes over as Acting President [paragraph 14(4) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution]. All the Ministers who were appointed by him will stay in office, and so will the one remaining Vice-President, Mr Mphoko.

    The fact that he may be outside the country, or in detention, or stripped of his party position and membership does not alter his status as Vice-President.

    If Vice-President Mphoko were to resign then there would be no Vice-President, and only a President can appoint another Vice-President.

    If there were no Vice-President to act as President, the remaining Cabinet Ministers would have to appoint one of themselves as Acting President in terms of section 100(1)(c) of the Constitution.

    Such an Acting President could appoint a Vice-President, but only with the approval of a majority of the Cabinet.

    A much simpler option would be if Mr Mugabe were to retire and appoint a new Vice-President before doing so."

  2. Mugabe impeachment 'can be done in a week'

    Lawmakers in Zimbabwe are expected to meet today to initiate the impeachment of President Robert Mugabe.

    There have been varied opinions on how long the process would take.

    Tendai Biti, the leader of the opposition People's Democratic Party, has told the BBC's Newsday programme that the impeachment process could be complete in a week.

    Listen to his comments below:

    Video content

    Video caption: Zimbabwe opposition leader Tendai Biti says the impeachment could be complete in a week.
  3. Regional leaders in crisis talks

    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Angola's capital, Luanda, for talks with regional leaders on the Zimbabwean crisis, reports the BBC's Mliton Nkosi from Johannesburg.

    Civil society groups in Zimbabwe have rejected their intervention, saying most leaders were allied with the embattled President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

    Only Botswana's President Ian Khama has publicly called for Mr Mugabe's resignation, saying presidents were not monarchs.

    South Africa President Jacob Zuma, Botswana President Ian Khama and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe stand on October 19, 2011 at the Mozambican heroes memorial in Maputo. Mozambican Armando Guebuza was to unveil a statue of independence hero Samora Machel on the 25th anniversary of his death in a plane crash at a ceremony attended by presidents of Brazil, South Africa, and Zimbabwe
    Image caption: Unlike Mr Zuma (L), Mr Khama (C) is a fierce critic of Mr Mugabe (R)
  4. Mugabe 'has right to bring lawyers'

    Zimbabwe's President Robert is entitled to legal representation during impeachment proceedings, opposition MP Tendai Biti has said, raising doubts about the ruling party's plan to remove him from office by the end of Wednesday.

    UK-based Channel 4 News' international editor has tweeted:

    View more on twitter
  5. Mnangagwa 'rejects' Mugabe meeting

    Emmerson Mnagagwa
    Image caption: Mr Mnangagwa was last seen on 4 November during a public rally

    Zimbabwe's sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has rejected meeting with President Robert Mugabe, despite army chief Gen Constantine Chiwenga saying yesterday that a meeting between the two leaders would take place as part of an agreed road map to resolve the crisis in the southern African state

    In a statement, Mr Mnangagwa called on Mr Mugabe to "resign immediately to avoid public humiliation":

    Quote Message: 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 arm chief also said yesterday that Mr Mnangagwa was due to return to the country shortly.

    However, the former vice-president said he would not return until his security is guaranteed.

    Mr Mugabe sacked Mr Mnangagwa about two weeks, triggering the dramatic developments that led to the military takeover.

    Mr Mnangagwa said the current crisis could not be resolved by the two of them but had to involve all Zimbabweans.

  6. South Africa should 'learn' from Zimbabwe

    South African President Jacob Zuma (L), former African Union Chairperson and presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (C) and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (R) dance after the closing session of the South African ruling party African National Congress (ANC) policy conference on July 5, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa
    Image caption: South African President Jacob Zuma (L) is backing his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (C), over his deputy, Cyril Rampahosa (R)

    Like Zimbabwe, neighbouring South Africa urgently needs a change of leader, the parliamentary chief whip of South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC), Jackson Mthembu, has said, Reuters news agency reports.

    The ANC is due to elect a new party leader at its national conference next month, but President Jacob Zuma - dogged by allegations of corruption and using the intelligence services to target his opponents - is expected to remain as president until the 2019 elections.

    In a Reuters interview, Mr Mthembu said that whoever the party chooses next month, the incoming leadership should tell Mr Zuma to step down.

    "You can't keep him there," he added.

    Quote Message: In Zimbabwe they call that bloodless corrections ... We need to make the corrections immediately after the conference."

    Mr Mthembu is backing Deputy President Cyril Rampahosa as the next ANC leader while Mr Zuma has thrown his weight behind ex-wife and former African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

    Read: African dynasties

  7. 'I will quit if Mugabe impeachment fails'

    Zimbabwe's only independent MP, Temba Mliswa, has tweeted that he will hand in his resignation if parliament fails to impeach President Robert Mugabe - the world's oldest ruler, at the age of 93.

    He says that the people's call for Mr Mugabe to step down should override the interests of anyone in the ruling Zanu-PF party who feel the veteran leader should stay in office:

    View more on twitter

    A Zimbabwean journalist tweeted yesterday that 230 out of 260 MPs back the impeachment plan:

    View more on twitter
  8. Mugabe calls cabinet meeting

    Zimbabwe's embattled President Robert Mugabe has convened his first cabinet meeting since last week's army takeover, but only a few ministers are said to have attended, a BBC correspondent in the capital, Harare, tweets:

    View more on twitter
  9. War veterans call for anti-Mugabe protests

    Chris Mutsvangwa
    Image caption: Chris Mutsvangwa told reporters that people should gather in the capital to force Mr Mugabe out of office

    Zimbabwe's war veterans have called for "immediate protests" against President Robert Mugabe to pressure him to step down, the AFP news agency reports.

    Zimbabwe War Veterans' Association chairman Chris Mutsvangwa told reporters that people should gather in the capital, Harare, to force Mr Mugabe out of office:

    Quote Message: All the people must leave what they are doing, come to Harare... We just want to see the back of Mugabe immediately. The protests must begin now, we cannot have another hour of Mugabe."

    He said people should march to Mr Mugabe's private residence, known as Blue Roof.

    The veteran association was a staunch backer of Mr Mugabe but are now allied to sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa whose removal sparked the current crisis.

    Meanwhile, MPs from the governing Zanu-PF will meet today to discuss plans to impeach Mr Mugabe after he ignored an ultimatum to resign.

  10. 'Bitter attack' on Mugabe

    Andrew Harding

    BBC News, Harare

    Emmerson Mnangagwa (C) is congratulated after being appointed as Zimbabwe's vice-president by President Robert Mugabe (unseen), on December 10, 2014 in Harare, Zimbabwe
    Image caption: Emmerson Mnangagwa is nicknamed "crocodile"

    The man primed to replace Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has launched a bitter attack on the 93 year old, and has urged him to step down.

    Emmerson Mnangawa more or less accused President Mugabe of trying to have him killed, and said he would not return to Zimbabwe until he is sure he will be safe.

    The statement from the former vice-president gave an extraordinary insight into the vicious power struggles that preceded last week's military intervention.

    Mr Mnangagwa said his security guards had warned him of plans to "eliminate" him, after he was sacked earlier this month. He promptly fled to South Africa.

    Last night, Zimbabwe's army generals confirmed that President Mugabe and Mr Mnangagwa had spoken by phone and claimed that Mr Mnangagwa had agreed to return home as part of a transitional roadmap.

    That roadmap now sounds like wishful thinking, as parliament here prepares to impeach the president, and Mr Mnangawa angrily demands that his former boss respects the will of the people or faces humiliation.

    Read: Zimbabwe's next likely leader

  11. Mugabe's main rival demands his resignation

    Many in the ruling party want Emmerson Mnangagwa to be the next president

    Zimbabwe's former vice-president, whose sacking led to last week's army takeover, has urged President Robert Mugabe to resign immediately.

    Emmerson Mnangagwa said he fled abroad two weeks ago when he learned of a plot to kill him, and he would not return until he was sure of his security.

    The ruling Zanu-PF party is expected to begin impeachment proceedings in parliament later on Tuesday.

    Mr Mugabe is accused of allowing his wife to "usurp constitutional power".

    Speaking from an undisclosed location on Tuesday, Mr Mnangagwa said the 93-year-old president should heed the "clarion call" of his people and step down.

    In a statement, he said:

    Quote Message: "I told the President that I would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired.

    Read the full BBC story here

  12. Today's wise words

    Our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: A bachelor does not know when he passes the house of his future parents-in-law." from Sent by Sunday Itodo in Abuja, Nigeria
    Sent by Sunday Itodo in Abuja, Nigeria

    Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

  13. Good morning

    Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around Africa, especially the moves to impeach Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

    So, stay with us throughout the day.