Speaker of the National Assembly (Lower House of Parliament), Jacob Mudenda has opened up on how he convinced late former president Robert Mugabe to resign with dignity.
Mugabe resigned on 21 November 2017, a few days after he was put under house arrest by the military and citizens were encouraged to demonstrate in favour of his removal from office.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting of media practitioners and the civil society organisations in Bulawayo on Tuesday, Mudenda claimed to have phoned Mugabe and told him to leave office without suffering the humiliation of being impeached. Said Mudenda:
I was in conversation with the President (Mugabe) and advised him that ‘why don’t you resign and stop this impeachment because you will not win it’.
We spoke over the phone because I did not want him to suffer the consequences of impeachment where he was going to appear before a Parliamentary committee to answer to charges; he could not have escaped.
Out of respect, I told him not to allow himself to be humiliated through that. I said do not allow yourself to go through this damming process of impeachment. He said ‘I will come back to you’ and it was around 1.05 PM.
I think he consulted his lawyers and he phoned back and said ‘Honourable Speaker, I agree with you and I am going to write a letter and it will be delivered where the impeachment process is taking place’.
I never doubted his signature because I knew it very well. I read the letter and that killed the impeachment process and the President was free to receive all his benefits and those of the First Family.
Unfortunately, he had fallen ill and he battled that cancer, but couldn’t conquer it.