Mugabe refuses to step down, vows to fight on

Ebun Francis || Contrary to earlier reports from sources close to embattled Zimbabwe’s former President, Robert Mugabe in a broadcast on Sunday evening vows to stay on as president, despite pressure for him to resign.

In a live TV address, Mugabe said he would preside over the ruling party’s congress in December.

Crowds had gathered in Harare to watch the speech, with  Mugabe widely expected to resign.
Instead though, flanked by military generals, he said “the (ruling Zanu-PF) party congress is due in a few weeks and I will preside over its processes”.
The embattled former President while acknowledging criticism from Zanu-PF, the military and public, however, stressed the need to return Zimbabwe to normality.
“Whatever the pros and cons of how they (the army) went about their operation, I, as commander-in-chief, do acknowledge their concerns,” he said, in reference to the army’s move last week to take over the state broadcaster.
The global understanding of the situation before the broadcast was that Mugabe had agreed to resign but then changed his mind.

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In his stumbling 20 minute address, Robert Mugabe made no mention of the deafening calls, from the public and from his own party, to resign as president.
Instead, he declared that the military had done nothing wrong, by seizing power and placing him under house arrest earlier in the week.
The 93-year-old, reading from notes, and often losing his place, then implied he would remain Zimbabwe’s leader at least until next month’s Zanu-PF congress, ignoring the fact that earlier he was stripped of any official role within the party.
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.
Where the latest development leaves the political stalemate in Zimbabwe is unclear. Zanu-PF has vowed to impeach him if he fails to resign by noon on Monday.

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With agency report