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.
The broadcast, which was also transmitted live on BBC, on Sunday, November, 19, was witnessed by the military leaders who had taken control of Zimbabwean affairs, but who kept denying that they had executed a coup.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
ZANU-PF had given the 93-year-old less than 24 hours to quit as head of state or face impeachment, an attempt to secure a peaceful end to his tenure after a de facto coup.
Mugabe said in a address on state television that he acknowledged criticism against him from ZANU-PF, the military and the public, but did not comment on the possibility of standing down.