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Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe meets with senior members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and police at State House in Harare

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe faced the start of an impeachment process on Tuesday and should heed his people’s call to resign, said Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ruling party’s candidate to replace him.

ZANU-PF plans to bring the motion in parliament after a Monday noon deadline expired for the 93-year-old leader to step down to end nearly four decades in power.

Mugabe led the country’s liberation war and has ruled since independence in 1980 but is seeing the swift erosion of his power. He has won a series of elections but is viewed by many in Africa and beyond as a leader who has crippled his country by holding on to power too long.

Mugabe has shown no sign of resigning. He has called for the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, which would be the first time ministers meet him since last week’s military takeover dubbed “Operation Restore Legacy”.

Zimbabwe’s information minister said on Tuesday he did not know if ministers would attend the cabinet meeting.

“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 … to resign so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy,” Mnangagwa said in a statement.

The army seized power because Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa to smooth a path to the presidency for his wife Grace, who is unpopular with many Zimbabweans. Reuters reported in September that Mnangagwa was plotting to succeed Mugabe with army backing at the helm of a broad coalition.

The plot posited an interim national unity government that would have the blessing of much of the international community and allow for Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the outside world. Its primary aim was to stabilise its economy.

The former vice president was a key lieutenant to Mugabe for decades and stands accused of participating in repression against Zimbabweans who challenged the leader.
A woman looks out next to a mural of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in Mbare

Mnangagwa said he has fled Zimbabwe because of a threat to his life after being purged from the ruling party. He said he had been in contact with Mugabe and invited to return but would not do so until his security could be guaranteed.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Mnangagwa said on Tuesday his desire was to join all Zimbabweans in a “new era” that would rebuild the economy for the benefit of all.

Zimbabwe’s top general said on Monday that the army’s intervention was progressing well.

In the draft impeachment motion, ZANU-PF – which expelled Mugabe from the party on Sunday – accused him of being a “source of instability”, flouting the rule of law and presiding over an “unprecedented economic tailspin” in the last 15 years.

It also said Mugabe had abused his constitutional mandate to favour his wife Grace.

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Harare to celebrate the impending downfall of Mugabe, accused by critics of retaining power through terror and election-rigging and of running a once-vibrant economy into the ground.

They expected him to resign within hours. Instead Mugabe dashed their hopes with a bizarre and rambling televised address on Sunday night in which he made no mention of his own fate.

Since last week, Mugabe has been confined to his lavish “Blue Roof” residence in Harare, apart from two trips to State House to meet the generals and one to a university graduation ceremony at which he appeared to fall asleep.

Grace, known as “Gucci Grace” for her alleged fondness for extravagant shopping sprees, and at least two senior members of her “G40” political faction are believed to be holed up in the same compound.

Her stark reversal of fortune was underscored on Monday when the state-run Herald newspaper – which in August proclaimed her “A loving mother of the nation” – ran a piece headlined “Youth League slams ‘uncultured’ First Lady.”

“Grace Mugabe lacked grooming and true motherhood as shown by her foul language,” the paper quoted the ZANU-PF’s youth wing as saying.
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Spurs stars train ahead of the clash against Borussia Dortmund

Tottenham Hotspur must quickly get over the disappointment of the Premier League defeat at Arsenal by getting a morale-boosting victory at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, manager Mauricio Pochettino has said.

Spurs’ loss at the Emirates on Saturday dropped them to fourth in the table, 11 points behind league leaders Manchester City, and extended their woeful away record against fellow top-six teams to one win in 17 games.

Tottenham, who are top of their Champions League group, have already sealed progression to the knockout stages and Pochettino believes their penultimate group match against a struggling Dortmund is the perfect opportunity to get a much-needed win.

“Now we have to keep going and get ready for Borussia Dortmund. Okay, we’re already in the next stage of the competition but we want to win and try to change the feeling we have from the weekend,” Pochettino told the club’s website. (www.tottenhamhotspur.com)

“It’s always important to compete and to be focused on the next game and when you lose, it’s important to play as soon as possible to change that feeling.”

Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen echoed his manager’s words and says the Dortmund game allows Spurs’ players to show their true capabilities after an underwhelming outing against Arsenal.

“It’s probably good that we have a game so quickly after the derby and you can have a bit of revenge — you can show the world that you are a better than what you saw on Saturday,” Eriksen told reporters.

Tottenham were favoured to win the north London derby and were criticised on multiple fronts after the poor showing but Pochettino has welcomed the increased expectations saying it showed the club’s improvement during his reign.

“The expectation now is that we win the Champions League and Premier League and I am happy with the pressure and the criticism,” Pochettino added.

“It means people expect more of us. We know very well we have improved in every single aspect.”
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The Kwara State police command yesterday paraded assistant spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and 53 others, for their alleged involvement in electoral malpractice during and after last weekend’s council polls.

Also paraded was a collation officer.

Commissioner of Police Lawan Ado said their offences included destruction and burning of ballot papers.

According to him, some  were arrested by security operatives attached to the State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) office for disorderly conduct.

“They were arrested singing war songs, trying to intrude KWASIEC’s office, and going from street to street to cause breach of the peace,” he added.

Some were arrested around Taiwo Road, Adeta and Laolu Unit, in the Ilorin metropolis, with others at Alapa and Morakinde compound in Oyun council for snatching and destroying election materials.

Ado added that the suspects will be charged to court soon.

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The Kwara State government says all is set to receive Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on a one-day visit today.

Secretary to the State Government Isiaka Gold said Osinbajo would inaugurate the International Vocational, Training and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC) in Ajase-Ipo, Irepodun Local Government Area and three others before leaving.

The Vice President will launch the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) MarketMoni, designed to serve as a one-stop shop for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Two hundered MSMEs will benefit from the programme, which is in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI).