Members of Zimbabwe's parliament attend a meeting in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, Nov. 21, 2017. Zimbabwe's parliament began sitting Tuesday afternoon to start impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe. (Xinhua/Tawanda)
HARARE, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's parliament began sitting Tuesday afternoon to start impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe.
Parliament Speaker Jacob Mudenda confirmed that parliament had received the motion moved by ruling ZANU-PF lawmaker Monica Mutsvangwa and seconded by opposition Movement for Democratic Change legislator James Maridadi.
Outlining the rules of procedure, Mudenda said the impeachment process will follow three stages which are adoption of the motion which requires 174 votes, followed by establishment of a committee of Standing Rules and Orders to investigate the charges against Mugabe and report back to parliament.
The third stage is the actual voting, which requires a two-thirds majority. Mudenda said 232 votes out of a total 347 members of parliament are needed for the impeachment motion to prevail.
There are 269 members in the National Assembly and 78 members in the Senate.
"This motion is unprecedented in the history of post-independent Zimbabwe," Mudenda said at a brief sitting of parliament Tuesday afternoon before it adjourned to 16:30 hours for the joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate at a bigger venue at the Harare International Conference Center in the capital.
The impeachment of Mugabe comes after he was removed by his party as its leader on Sunday and his refusal to accede to the party's ultimatum for him to resign by Monday noon.