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tv   BBC News  BBC News  November 19, 2017 12:00pm-12:30pm GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 12pm: fasano zanu—pf has sacked robert mugabe as leader. he will be replaced by the man mugabe sacked just two weeks ago. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the president of zimbabwe robert mugabe has been sacked by his party as leader. delegates at the party meeting were seen breaking into loud singing and dancing when the announcement was made emmerson mnangagwa has been announced as his
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replacement. we can go now to ben brown in harare. a momentous morning. yes, when you think about it, hugely dramatic. robert mugabe has been the leader of zanu—pf and the leader of this country for 37 years, almost four decades, and now that party, zanu—pf, has simply turned its back on him, said it had enough of him, sacked him, really humiliated him and kept him out as party leader. extraordinary. this was the central committee of zanu—pf meeting here in harare and celebrating, as you say, after that decision. also stripping his wife, grace mugabe, of her party membership and making emmerson mnangagwa, who she is forced out as vice president of this country, making him now be party leader. the
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front runner to become the new president, the favoured candidate of the military. but he is still technically president of this country. he may not effectively be in power, because he has been under house arrest but still technically president. the military here who took over on wednesday, they've got took over on wednesday, they've got to find a way of constitutionally removing him as president. they don't want best to look like an old—fashioned don't want best to look like an old —fashioned coups d'etat don't want best to look like an old—fashioned coups d'etat where they push out of office. it seems they push out of office. it seems the most likely way they will do that, following this decision to kick him out as party leader, is to get parliament to impeach him as president. that is if he doesn't go voluntarily. he is in talks at the moment with the military high command, we understand, here in harare. his motorcade was seen leaving his private residence a little bit earlier today, heading from his residence and the blue roof to state house. he is in those talks. if they can't persuade him to
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go voluntarily, and the indications are he won't, he is pretty stubborn, then they will have to get parliament to constitutionally impeach him. stay with us for a moment. ijust impeach him. stay with us for a moment. i just want to turn to our colleague who i gather is inside the headquarters of zanu—pf. what is the information you have got? indeed, i have just stepped outside. journalists have been asked to leave the hall. they are still formalising the hall. they are still formalising the process of removing president mugabe but the decision has been taken. i spoke to a senior figure from zanu—pf in the hall and he said, we are removing him, we are very happy and excited. this is the dawn of a new era. we want to give him a dignified retirement, he can go farming, and he confirmed we have elected emmerson mnangagwa as the new president of the party with immediate effect. so zanu—pf, with
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ruthless determination, has come 180 degrees from a week or so ago when it voted unanimously to kick emmerson mnangagwa out of the party and into exile. suddenly he is back, on top and mr mugabe's humiliation... it's hard to see how much more humiliation he is prepared to accept. if he digs his heels in and forces the parliament to impeach him, it can only get worse for him now, i think. he is, though, technically still president of zimbabwe. do we know what exactly his demands are, what potential fate is in store for robert mugabe now? we don't know. i was talking to the war vetera n we don't know. i was talking to the war veteran leader a little earlier. he is the one that started yesterday's protest which turned into something so enormous. he said if the generals in their talks with mr mugabe can't sort this out very quickly, and said we will go back on the streets and we will sort this
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out ourselves. he used very fiery language and describes this as being a coup but not a usual african coup with somebody being hanged from a tree, as he put it. he said, we don't want that to happen, but he made it very clear that mr mugabe's time in office was running out by the minute. what is the process by which whoever replaces the leadership of the party is made president also? that is the thing they are still working out. the very keen desire here is to have the sort of veneer of legality and all this. it is fascinating to see how people are trying to find the right words to explain what is already simply a fa ct. to explain what is already simply a fact. mr mugabe has been kicked out and the law and the political process has still to catch up with that. so it could be through impeachment, it could be mr mugabe simply resigns, or it could be a more long—term process of popular
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pressure, political pressure, and eventually he simply becomes irrelevant. i saw it reported by reuters that grace mugabe has been expeued reuters that grace mugabe has been expelled from the ruling party. 0bviously she has been a very divisive figure and triggered, perhaps, this wholly bent. do we know now what will become of her and herfamily? know now what will become of her and her family? —— triggered know now what will become of her and herfamily? —— triggered this know now what will become of her and her family? —— triggered this whole event. we don't. i think it will be a key pa rt event. we don't. i think it will be a key part of these negotiations between the generals and robert mugabe. a lot of people have been saying it would not be safe from grace mugabe to stay in the country, that her life would be in danger, such as the animosity against her. i also suspect president mugabe, for a sense of his own dignity, would not wa nt to sense of his own dignity, would not want to go into exile. he is a stubborn man, and it sounds, from what we can understand of the negotiations, mostly speculation, as if he simply refuses to accept the reality that the world he knew, the bubble of power and patronage and
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undulations that he has lived in the 37 years, has vanished. we are seeing reports southern african leaders will hold a crisis summit in angola on tuesday. of course, this affects the whole region in southern africa. can you just sum up the importance of this moment? mr mugabe obviously held in great respect also, for his historic role in the country's liberation, yet we have seen country's liberation, yet we have seen this incredible swell of public opinion wanting him to go. there has been a huge push back here among many ordinary people and politicians, against zimba bwe's neighbours saying, look, you've enabled mugabe for years and now you're coming in trying to negotiate. back off, we will sort this out as zimbabweans together. this is our problem and we have made the decision to fix it. but this is extraordinary for a man who, while reviled in the west for the economic misery and the repression he has
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brought in the last, typically the last 15 years to zimbabwe, he is still seen, particularly in countries like south africa, as an iconic figure for his role in fighting unarmed fight for independence, for an end to white minority rule in zimbabwe, which ended, of course, in 1980, with mr mugabe taking power. he has run this country ever since. most people here do not know another leader. so the fa ct do not know another leader. so the fact he is being turfed out in such a humiliating fashion is something i think no one expected. thank you very much for that. we are going to go back to ben brown, also in harare. do you think that sense of him as an iconic figure will lead to anyone feeling sympathy for him, sadness it has come to this? i think it is a measure of people wanting to have respect for their elders. that is a great african tradition here. that elders should
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be treated with dignity. in a sense, perhaps that is why, another reason why the military have just thrown him out. they kept talking to him, they even let him out of house arrest to go to award graduates their degrees the other day. it was extraordinary. he dressed up in academic robes on waterboard and it looked for him it was business as usual. he has been treated with some dignity since that military takeover. he was an iconic figure, but andrew was saying, he lost touch. his rule has been despotic and there has been political repression and political chaos. i think the question now that we have to start addressing is — what follows ? n o to start addressing is — what follows? no one knows. yes, there might bea follows? no one knows. yes, there might be a transitional government. but if emmerson mnangagwa is that the head of it, people have questions about him. he was a strong man and a mugabe. he was his security chief. he has been accused of human rights abuses for a long
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time. some people are saying, would he be much that —— that much better than mugabe? i think the importance of yesterday's demonstrations on the streets and all the euphoria there was and that display of people power was and that display of people power was actually things have changed. you cannot just be was actually things have changed. you cannotjust be a kind of another mugabe, another guy continuing to roll this country with autocracy. people want to see real change, they wa nt to people want to see real change, they want to see this country be much better managed, in terms of the economy, with his real human rights and political freedoms. they economy, with his real human rights and politicalfreedoms. they want zimbabwe to move on, and this has to bea zimbabwe to move on, and this has to be a pivotal moment when things do change, whoever is the new president and a new government. is there any chance still seeing any unity government, and what about fresh elections? elections are planned for next year. there is a a lot of talk about her transitional government, with emmerson mnangagwa at the head of it. if it hadn't been being for
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mugabe, was the favourite candidate initially of robert mugabe as vice president, and then grace mugabe had him ousted. emmerson mnangagwa was mugabe's man until recently. 0ne him ousted. emmerson mnangagwa was mugabe's man until recently. one of the scenarios is he would head a transitional government leading may be to those elections next year, that would try to get the economy back on its feet, that would pave the way to fresh elections and would include members of the opposition. the opposition at the moment are pretty fragmented, pretty fractured by parts of the opposition could be brought into a transitional government and work together, that would be good for zimbabwe. but the path ahead is pretty uncertain. at the moment, people like celebrating because they know mugabe is gone now as head of zanu—pf. but still, as we have been saying, he is still technically president of this country. i don't think anyone will be dancing in the streets until they hear he has officially gone as
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president. ben brown, for now, thank you. president mugabe has been in power for nearly four decades. the 93—year—old has ruled zimbabwe since the country gained independence in 1980 but its economy has descended into chaos, with thousands of people reduced to poverty. 0ur correspondent look back now on mugabe's time in power. robert gabriel mugabe was a revolutionary leader who fought in the liberation struggle against white minority rule. bear true allegiance to zimbabwe. is tight grip on power and in the title of being the eldest head of state in the world. but 93—year—old leader has been in power since zimbabwe's independence in 1980. he has continued his life as an international statesman, despite a diminishing reputation as zimbabwe's economy crumbled amid corruption and violence. mugabe's rise to power
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began in 1979, when the lancaster house agreement ended white minority rule. at first, he protected minority rights. but in the 2000s, he changed tact. he led a chaotic land reform programme, including redistributing land from white farmers without compensation. the country's economy collapsed with runaway inflation figures. the central bank printed money on a massive scale. supermarket shelves we re massive scale. supermarket shelves were empty. a loaf of bread would cost you trillions to buy. mugabe's misrule prompted widespread protests. that was the birth of the goodison mdc led by morgan chang right, later entered into a power—sharing agreement with mugabe following a disputed election. economic climate still recovering.
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millions of zimbabweans cross the border into neighbouring south africa, looking for a better life. he tried to pave the way for his wife grace mugabe to be his successor. the army found that an acceptable, saying that this is not acceptable, saying that this is not a dynasty. we can go back to live to harare and get the latest from ben brown. grace mugabe, her rise as a potential leader has been the trigger, hasn't it, for this? one assumes there has been an element of planning by those within zanu—pf. i think there has been an element of planning within the military as well for quite a long time. this whole military takeover that happened on wednesday, which was obviously very
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dramatic. according to a lot of reports, this had been in the pipeline for quite some time, maybe even months, and the military had consulted before their takeover people in, senior officials in china, which is a key ally of zimbabwe, and south africa as well, and taken soundings, so this didn't come out of the blue. i think the military did have a plan for what was going to unfold after that takeover, that they were going to try and persuade mr mugabe to go and zanu—pf his party, his movement would turn against him and that is what is transpiring. hard to stress too much how really dramatic this is, how extraordinary this day is. that after almost four decades in power here, four decades of running zanu—pf, robert mugabe hasjust been sacked as its party leader. utter humiliation for him. his own party, his own movement, his own
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supporters, those closest to him. they just weren't prepared supporters, those closest to him. theyjust weren't prepared to accept that he could hang on power like an heirloom to grace mugabe, his wife, who is some 41 years younger than him, and who is frankly hated across much of this country. they weren't prepared to stomach fat, neither the army, zanu—pf or the people and that is why almost everyone as turned on robert mugabe. does it hinged now on getting a deal to persuade robert mugabe and his wife to come come to some sort of accommodation? andrew said grace mugabe wouldn't necessarily be safe staying in the country but also that robert mugabe wouldn't want to go into exile?m might be that that is what the generals are trying to use as a sort of bargaining chip with mr mugabe. saying look, if you want to live in safety, you and your family, your
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wife and your children, either here in zimbabwe were to get safe passage to somewhere in exile, might not wa nt to to somewhere in exile, might not want to go into exile for reasons of his own pride, but if you do on safety a nd his own pride, but if you do on safety and guarantees of protection from us, the military, then you have to resign voluntarily, of your own free volition. that is the sort of deal i think they will be hoping to cut. but we don't know, really, anything that has happened in these negotiations, the talks on thursday or today. we have had reports that he has been very stubborn and simply refusing to do what he is told. refusing to engage in the process, because he insists this is a coup d'etat, illegitimate, unlawful, won't dignify it by simply resigning as he's being told to do. so that is one scenario, that he clings to office and then is pushed out by parliament, and that could happen very quickly next week. they could simply impeach him. the other scenario is he does bow to pressure,
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pressure from the public, pressure from zanu—pf, pressure from the military, and does finally stepped down as president after 37 years. do we know any third countries where he would be potentially prepared to go, where he would be safe to go? what is the process then for appointing a new president? well, there would be a new interim president, which would technically be one of the vice presidents. it is all rather confused because so many of the senior politicians in this country have either been arrested or fled the country. it is all a bit difficult in the interim. i think what we would see is possibly a transitional government with emerson mnangagwa effectively running that interim transitional authority. as to where mugabe may go, speculation he could go to south africa. there
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had been reports grace and —— grace mugabe had gone to namibia. we believe she is still here in harare under house arrest as well. for people tuning in and who wonder why mugabe has got this iconic status... he basically liberated the country. it was under colonial rule that had tremendous force in its day but his legacy has been very much tarnished by his time in office. yes, he was the great liberating hero. he fought the great liberating hero. he fought the war of liberation, the war of independence against white minority rule. he came back into harare from exile in mozambique in 1980 to absolute adulation, the polar opposite of what we are seeing right now, 37 years later, when it's frankly humiliation for him. kicked out of the leadership of the party
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that he loved and that he has led for 37 years. it is all over for him. but during that role it went from a bad to worse, political repression, atrocities, economic mismanagement and a grotesques scale. in 2008 inflation in this country reached 79,000,000,000%. if you can try to imagine what life is like when your currency is virtually worthless. we had the white owned farms here being invaded. the land invasions. i was here in the year 2000, inside one of those white farms when they were being taken over with extreme violence and white farmers were being killed. so extraordinary scenes, and a country that offers so much, with so much potential, so much wealth, such great resources. those resources have been squandered, in many ways,
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in the mugabe area. it has been tragic to see for anyone who loves this country. i was speaking to one of my friends here, who has lived here for many years, the zimbabwean who cried, couldn't stop crying when she saw the crowds marching through this city yesterday. because it was such a turning point, such a pivotal moment in the history of this country, and that really the genie is out of the bottle. after those scenes yesterday, nothing in zimbabwe can be the same again. i don't think any potential dictator or would be dictator could get away with the kind of rule that robert mugabe exercised for so long. and yet he did bring about a very highly educated population, and whoever comes next has got a potential huge reserve to transform the economy there? yes, that's right. a lot of
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people would point to some of the early achievements of mugabe's rule, education, health care and so on. but i think most of those who have analysed his rule would say that during the 37 years things deteriorated badly, and that's now at 93 he is simply incapable of good, strong leadership any more. critics have long wanted him to go, of course. he has been an incredible survivor in this country. it is amazing that he is still president. he is the world's oldest living head of state but finally now he has been stripped of the party leadership. that is only the first stage of the process in trying to remove him, because they stuff to get rid of him as president of this country. the only way that can really happen, u nless only way that can really happen, unless he resigns it, unless he goes voluntarily, is for parliament, just down there behind me, to impeach
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him. they could impeach him on various grounds, that he is, they believe, unable to carry on as president, or wilful misconduct in office. there are various different categories of the constitution, grounds under which he could be impeached. it seems likely that he doesn't agree to go today as president that is what will happen, monday or tuesday impeachment proceedings will begin. we don't know how long it will take but i think it would be fast tracked, so that he probably has only a few days at best as technically still president of this country. thank you very much indeed. ben brown live in harare. i'm joined now very much indeed. ben brown live in harare. i'mjoined now by very much indeed. ben brown live in harare. i'm joined now by the former adviser to morgan tsvangirai. what is your reaction to events today? not entirely unexpected, zanu—pf
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showed they didn't want mugabe as president. he cannot possibly continue as president because he would not be able to run government. there are two specific consequences that will affect him. number one, he will not be able to maintain or form a cabinet, because the majority of persons who are elected. and number two, he would struggle to pass legislation, including the budget. if he is unable to do that, parliament would have to be dissolved and there would have to be an election. effectively, mr mugabe's days are numbered. are you clear what will come next, if he is finally forced out of the presidency? well, it is not clear at the moment. i assumed that those who are behind the current processes have got sufficient plans as to what they would like to do afterwards. but it is quite clear to me that mr mugabe's presidency is no longer tenable. any chance of a unity
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government, in your view? this is quite possible. it seems that the opposition parties and zanu—pf are working together and they have been in agreement as to the fact mugabe must go. you are waiting for that moment. is your expectation he will step down today or is it really difficult to say? well, mr mugabe doesn't have a choice but he it is a stubborn man. he might refuse to step down until the very final moment. do you know what pressures are being put on him? are there situations that are being offered to him and his family for whether they stay in zimbabwe or leave? i'm not aware of the specific details but theissues aware of the specific details but the issues that are been discussed regarding security, security of his family and of course what happens to him after he leaves the presidency. do you know what the potential options are? for example would you
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expect mr mugabe and his family to stay within the country?” expect mr mugabe and his family to stay within the country? i believe mr mugabe would like to stay within the country. i believe zanu—pf have been offering him an opportunity to step down with some dignity and be able to continue with his life. the fa ct able to continue with his life. the fact he has been continuing to be stubborn and refuse to take this offer will make this situation more difficult and might result in a situation where you he might have to leave the country. we are told grace mugabe has been thrown out, expelled from zanu—pf. are they both personally in different positions? is it possible for her to stay in the country safely? she created a lot of enemies during the time she was secretary of the women's league. she was very aggressive. she also had so many challenges with people
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in different parts of the society, including business people. this would make life very difficult in the aftermath of her husband losing the aftermath of her husband losing the presidency. zanu-pf has decided to replace robert mugabe with emma ciman would he have your support? would he have your support7m would he have your support? it is a power struggle within zanu—pf itself. my view is that zimbabwe needs to prepare a way to have democratic elections, at least within a reasonable period of time. what period of time are you talking about? given the about?
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