Mugabe ignores resignation ultimatum

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe delivers a speech during a graduation ceremony at the Zimbabwe Open University in Harare, where he presides as the Chancellor on November 17, 2017. It was his first public appearance since the military takeover on November 14. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party summoned its MPs to discuss the future of its leader, President Robert Mugabe, after a deadline for his resignation came and went on Monday.

The deadline was set by Zanu-PF.

The embattled leader surprised Zimbabweans on Sunday, declaring on TV that he planned to remain as president.

Zanu-PF said it backs impeachment, and proceedings could begin as soon as Tuesday when parliament meets.

In a draft motion, seen by Reuters news agency, the party blamed the president for what it called an "unprecedented economic tailspin".

His wife

The public has poured on to the streets in protest in recent days, calling for the end of Mr Mugabe's 37-year presidency.

His grip on power has weakened considerably since the country's army intervened on Wednesday in a row over who should succeed him.

The crisis began two weeks ago when the 93-year-old leader sacked his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, angering army commanders who saw it as an attempt to position his wife Grace as next president.

Zimbabwe has since then seen huge street rallies demanding his immediate resignation.

Rule is over

The protests have been backed by the influential War veterans - who fought in the conflict that led to independence from Britain in 1980.

The group's leader, Mr Chris Mutsvangwa, on Monday called for more demonstrations against the president's attempt to cling on to power.

"We want to see his back now," Mr Mutsvangwa said. "Mugabe, your rule is over. The emperor has no clothes. Thank you very much."
Harare was swirling with rumours that President Mugabe was planning his resignation and that he may go back on television to announce it at any stage, and that Sunday's speech was simply about giving carte blanche to the military for what they've done.

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