Mugabe clings onto power, refuses to resign

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File: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe looks on as he attends the 2nd Session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe binational Commission (BNC) on October 3, 2017 at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria. / AFP PHOTO / Phill Magakoe (Photo credit should read PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP/Getty Images)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Sunday clung onto power and failed to resign as the country or party president.

The 93-year-old, the world’s oldest president, briefed the nation at State House in the capital Harare, surrounded by the army.
It comes just days after the military stepped in to end a purge against those aligned with sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mugabe’s party removed him from his post as Zanu-PF leader earlier on Sunday and was he was given until noon on Monday to resign as state president.
Reuters

Meanwhile Some Zimbabweans say they are frastrated that President Mugabe whom they expected to resign has not done so. Below are updates by ABC News on events in Zimbabwe:

10:20pm

ABC News reports that Zimbabweans who gathered at a bar in the capital to celebrate longtime President Robert Mugabe’s expected announcement of his resignation say they are frustrated.

One named Nyasha says: “I would be happy for him despite everything he has done to leave with dignity and just walk away. … He is so stubborn.”

The ruling party’s Central Committee has told the world’s oldest head of state to resign by noon Monday or face impeachment. His speech on national television was expected to announce he would step down.

Another Zimbabwean named Shengi says: “Mugabe is a dictator and he’ll always be a dictator.”

10.05pm

Zimbabweans say they feel profoundly disappointed that longtime President Robert Mugabe is resisting pressure to step aside.

Victor Matemadanda, secretary general of the country’s war veterans association, tells The Associated Press he feels betrayed.

Matemadanda says: “He is playing games with the people of Zimbabwe. He agrees to go and then plays games with us like that at the last minute.”

Mugabe’s address to the nation said he would preside over the ruling party’s congress next month, even though its Central Committee has recalled him as its leader and told him to resign as president by midday Monday or face impeachment.

Matemadanda says the war veterans will again rally the people to protest, and “this time the army will let him face the people. … The army will now choose between shooting the people or protecting Mugabe.”

9:45 p.m.

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has shocked the country by ending his address on national television without announcing his resignation, but he notes the political turmoil that led to his military house arrest and expulsion as ruling party leader.

“From tonight … the nation at all levels gets refocused,” Mugabe says.

He also says “failures of the past” may have triggered anger “in some quarters, which he calls “quite understandable.”

He also notes that “intergenerational conflict must be resolved,” a reference to his apparent positioning of his unpopular 52-year-old wife to succeed him. Mugabe is 93 and had been backed by fellow veterans of the country’s liberation war, until they turned against him.

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9:30 p.m.

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has baffled the country by ending his address on national television without announcing his resignation.

The ruling party’s Central Committee just hours earlier told him to resign as president by noon Monday or face impeachment proceedings the following day.

Zimbabweans gathered in expectation of a celebration. Instead, Mugabe appeared to hint at challenging the ruling party, which has expelled him as its leader, by trying to stay on.

Mugabe made a reference to presiding over a party congress next month. “The congress is due in a few weeks from now. I will preside over its processes, which must not be possessed by any acts calculated to undermine it or compromise the outcomes in the eyes of the public.”

Officials close to the talks between Mugabe and the military had said Mugabe was resigning.

9:20 p.m.

The army commander who took Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe under house arrest just days ago is helping Mugabe to turn the pages of his speech as he addresses the nation on his resignation.

Zimbabweans accustomed to hours-long speeches by Mugabe are wondering how long this one will take.

The state-run broadcaster introduced Mugabe’s speech by saying: “Sit back, relax and join us.”

Ruling party leaders have told him to step aside by noon Monday or face impeachment. He says people cannot “ride roughshod over party rules and procedures.”

———

9:10 p.m.

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has begun speaking on state television on his resignation.

He has shaken the hands of the military leaders who put him under house arrest just days ago. He says he is aware of a “whole range of concerns,” including the economy, which is going through “a difficult patch.”

Mugabe is poised to step down after 37 years in power. He is the world’s oldest head of state.

He says “the pillars of state remained functional” amid the crisis, in which Zimbabweans rallied by the tens of thousands against him and ruling party leaders told him to step aside or face impeachment.

———

8:55 p.m.

Zimbabwe’s state-run Herald newspaper says President Robert Mugabe has gone into a closed-door meeting with the military generals who put him under house arrest days ago.

It’s been two hours since the state broadcaster said Mugabe was expected to address the country on live TV. An official close to the talks on Mugabe’s departure says the president is resigning after 37 years in power.

Zimbabweans have been stunned and then exhilarated by the downfall of the world’s oldest head of state, who had vowed to rule until death. He has been increasingly isolated since the military stepped in, with tens of thousands demonstrating Saturday in the capital for his departure.

The ruling party’s Central Committee on Sunday told Mugabe to resign as president by noon Monday or face impeachment.

———

8 p.m.

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is resigning after nearly four decades in power, according to an official close to the talks on his departure.

The news comes hours after the ruling party’s Central Committee fired Mugabe as party leader and said if he didn’t resign as the country’s president by noon Monday it would start impeachment proceedings.

Mugabe will address the nation shortly on state-run television. The official close to the talks spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

It is an extraordinary end to 37 years in power for the world’s oldest head of state, who had vowed to rule until death.

The 93-year-old Mugabe has been under house arrest since the military moved in Tuesday, angered by his firing of his longtime deputy and the positioning of unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe to succeed him.

Mugabe tried to buy time in negotiations with the military on a dignified exit but quickly found himself isolated.

Tens of thousands of people poured into the streets of the capital Saturday to demand that Mugabe, one of Africa’s last remaining liberation leaders, step aside after overseeing the once-prosperous country’s economic collapse.

The deputy Mugabe fired, former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is poised to be Zimbabwe’s next leader after the Central Committee made him its nominee to take over when Mugabe goes.

— Farai Mutsaka in Harare.

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2 Responses to Mugabe clings onto power, refuses to resign

  1. They have given him every chance to do the right thing. But he thinks it’s HIS country.
    Just send him to one of his dictator friends like Zuma or Lungu.
    I hope African dictators are seeing that the tide is slowly changing. Their days are coming to an end.

    Newbie
    November 20, 2017 at 4:58 am
    Reply

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