Powerful group claims that President Robert Mugabe pulled off manoeuvre to avoid standing down, amid reports he has drafted resignation letter in his speech last Sunday.
Zimbabwe’s powerful war veterans claimed that Robert Mugabe swapped speeches to avoid resigning during a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, as they repeated their call for him to go.
The 93-year-old, sacked as leader of the ruling Zanu-PF party, had been given a noon deadline (1000 GMT) on Monday to resign as head of state or face impeachment when parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.
A draft impeachment motion published by Zanu-PF after the deadline passed said Mugabe was a “source of instability” who had shown disrespect for the rule of law and is to blame for an unprecedented economic tailspin over the past 15 years.
An array of senior commanders sat beside Mugabe as he made his speech. Constantino Chiwenga, the general who led the takeover, turned the president’s pages as he spoke.
“We were disappointed yesterday in the midst of all those generals he appeared to swap [speeches],” Chris Mutsvangwa, who leads the war veterans, told a press conference on Monday morning.
Mutsvangwa said the veterans would call for further protests – including a sit-in outside Mugabe’s Harare residence where he is being held under house arrest – if the president did not heed calls to quit.
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