Mugabe cling on to power as Zimbabwe president

Zimbabwe’s embattled leader Robert Mugabe on late Sunday night  failed to announce his resignation as widely expected in a national address on live television, vowed to stay in power.

Mugabe vows to stay in power despite pressure to resign

Rumors were swirling before he spoke that Mugabe would resign the presidency.

But in his stumbling, 20-minute address, Mugabe made no mention of the deafening calls, from the public and from his own party, to stand down as  president.

Instead, the 93-year-old autocrat said that “we cannot be guided by bitterness or revengefulness which would not makes us any better … Zimbabweans”

He declared that the military had done nothing wrong, by seizing power, and placing him under house arrest earlier in the week.

“Today’s meeting with the command element has underscored the need for us to collectively start processes that return our nation to normalcy. So that all our people can go about their business unhindered, in an environment of perfect peace and security,” he said.

Then he implied he would remain Zimbabwe’s leader at least until next month’s ruling Zanu-PF congress, ignoring the fact that earlier he was stripped of any official role within the party.

Zanu-PF earlier sacked him as party leader, and gave him less than 24 hours to resign as president or be impeached.

He did acknowledge failings, and factionalism in the government and party but made no mention of his wife, Grace, who was expelled from the party.

Mugabe, who repeatedly cited the legacy of Zimbabwe’s brutal liberations wars of the 1970s, said he believed that the military “operation” launched last Tuesday by army commanders was motivated by “a deep patriotic concern for the stability of the nation” and “did not amount to a threat to our well-cherished constitutional order”.

“I am aware that many developments have occurred in the party, given the failings of the past, and anger they might have triggered in some quarters …. [but] I am confident that from tonight our whole nation will put shoulder to the wheel,” Mugabe said.

During his address, Mugabe was flanked by various uniformed members of the armed forces. While speaking, he shuffled his papers and at times seemed to lose his place, prompting him to apologize at the end.

“It was a long speech,” Mugabe said, before receiving tepid applause by those sitting next to him. Minutes later he stood up and shook hands with members of the armed forces.

His grip on power has weakened since the military intervened on Wednesday, in a row over who should succeed him.

The crisis began when Mugabe sacked his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, two weeks ago, angering army commanders who saw it as an attempt to position his wife as his successor.

Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in 1980.

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Gogodasi
Guest
One Zimbabwean constitutional Lawyer said on eNCA TV that Mnangagwa was unconstitutionally removed by Mugabe to pave way for his wife Grace, to succeed him. This means that the move by ZANU-PF to reinstate Mnangagwa is the right one and therefore qualifies him to replace Mugabe because ZANU annulled the dismissal. Whether the man is a crocodile or something else , that is a different story. One thing that is clear about SADC and African Union is that both bodies are useless not worth their existence. They were formed to protect dictators like Mugabe, and not to serve the interests… Read more »
Kent Y.G. Mphepo
Guest
In fact, if I were one of the generals who put Mugabe under arrest I would have arranged in advance where to run to and hide should things return to normalcy with Mugabe at the helm of government or face treason charges. This is pure treason. They will pay for this in one way or another. The Mugabe I know is a well read and experienced politician who knows what exactly he wants in every situation. He, actually, is my hero. I have closely followed his political acumenship from my teenage days. I will be surprised if he comes out… Read more »
Kent Y.G. Mphepo
Guest
Correct. While it is ok for the party to fire Mugabe as leader of ZANU-PF, it will be unconstitutional for the party or army or Parliament to replace him with Emerson Mnangagwa who was constitutionally fired by the Head of State. If they do that AU and SADC will treat it as a coup de tat. The two bodies will be forced/required to use military force to return power to the constitutionally elected president – Robert Mugabe. If SADC or AU countries, which Malawi is part of, do not take this path, they should expect similar unconstitutional means of power… Read more »
Angel of Doom
Guest
Its not true that Mugabe is clinging on to power. 1. If Mugabe resigns, the vice president should take over, and there is no vice president, but second vice president, who the army do not want, because he is sympathetic to Grace Mugabe. 2. If parliament starts impeachment proceedings it will take a long time, and again the vice president is supposed to be caretaker we are then back to (1) 3. If the military force Mugabe to leave, then it is a coup, and elections must be held, and Their man Mnaangagwa will not win. So Bob carries on.… Read more »
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