HARARE – President Robert Mugabe has brushed off calls for his resignation and instead appealed for unity in the ruling Zanu-PF party.
It was widely expected that Mugabe would announce his resignation on state television on Sunday night after his party removed him as leader and recommended he step down from the presidency.
He’s been given until midday on Monday to step down.
In his address, Mugabe said that the upcoming party congress will come up with a clear roadmap to solve once and for all any ommissions or contradictions that have negatively affected Zanu-PF.
“Indeed, all these matters will be discussed and settled at the forthcoming congress.”
Mugabe has described the current state of the economy in Zimbabwe as going through a difficult patch.
But his party’s Christopher Mutsvangwa believes otherwise, blaming the 93-year-old leader for the demise of the economy.
“He’s thrown this country into a comatose state. We have an economy that has been utterly destroyed, worse than it has gone through a war because of the dereliction of duty. There is not an iota of understanding of how a modern economy works.”
Zanu-PF has given Mugabe until midday on Monday to resign, failing which they will begin the process to impeach him.
Two sources, one a senior member of the government, the other familiar with talks with leaders of the military, had told Reuters that Mugabe would use the address to announce his resignation after Zanu-PF earlier sacked him as its leader in a step precipitated by an army takeover four days earlier.
But in the speech from his official residence, sitting alongside a row of generals, Mugabe acknowledged criticisms from Zanu-PF, the military and the public, but made no mention of his own position, instead pledging to preside over the Zanu-PF congress scheduled for next month.
Zimbabweans were left stunned and confused when Mugabe failed to make the much anticipated announcement.
However, Zanu-PF Chief Whip Lovemore Matuke is confident that if Mugabe doesn’t resign he will be successfully impeached.
“We have got more than enough numbers. In fact, the whole parliament, if not 90%, they are supporting the call. So the issue of numbers is out of the question.”