Defiant Mugabe Confronts Military Coup; Refuses to Step Down

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The political drama amidst the recent military coup in Zimbabwe has taken another twist here on Sunday. While there were speculations around that Robert Mugabe might step down as a president due to the circumstantial pressure around, just then he declared to the whole nation on a live television broadcast that he is still the head of the country and would also manage and preside over the ruling Zanu-PF’s congress in December even though the ruling party had removed him as its leader hours earlier. In his words, “The (ruling Zanu-PF) party congress is due in a few weeks and I will preside over its processes”.

Robert Mugabe

While Mugabe acknowledged all the criticism he is receiving from his own party Zanu-PF, the military and the public, he stayed mum on the questions of stepping down. He further states that his declaration came in the wake of concerns put forward by the defense forces about Zanu-PF’s governance in the country and being a commander in chief, he acknowledged the issues the defense forces raised. He further states that these concerns did come from a patriotic concern for “our people”. It’s worth mentioning here that Mugabe had a meeting with army Chief Constantino Chiwenga and other generals at state house before addressing the nation last night.

It’s worth mentioning here that the leader of Zimbabwe’s war veterans Chris Mutsvangwa said on Sunday that the plans are on to indict President Robert Mugabe as scheduled after the 93-year-old Mugabe refused to step down in a public declaration. Chris Mutsvangwa, who is heading the campaign to dethrone Mugabe from the president chair, further said that people will take down to the streets on Harare on Wednesday if he didn’t resign with immediate effect. Moreover, Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife Grace, who might be having plans to succeed her husband as the next president, was also expelled from the party, along with three other cabinet ministers which together were aligned to his controversial “G40” political faction which has been fighting against Mnangagwa’s possible ascension to power.

Moreover, the ruling party also confirmed that former vice-president Mnangagwa, who was earlier fired by Mugabe and which has further led to the military coup and subsequent crisis, would be their next candidate in the 2018 elections. In the words of Party Official Obert Mpofu,” (Mugabe’s) wife and close associates have taken advantage of his frail condition to usurp power and loot state resources”. It is further been stated from unknown sources that a government of national unity consisting of Mnangagwa (Zanu-PF, president), Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC, prime minister), Dumiso Dabengwa (Zapu, first vice-president) and Joice Mujuru (Rainbow Coalition, second-vice president) had been proposed to Mugabe and this would further confirm his exit from the President Chair.

In the words of international political analyst Charles Sinkala,” the 37 years of Mugabe have caused a lot of damage to Zimbabwe. The constitution was based on one man’s rule. Mnangagwa might not be different from Mugabe, in a sense that he was one of the comrades who perpetrated the mass killing and shooting of the Ndebele people”. It was further quoted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that they will have a discussion on Zimbabwe’s critical Political Situation tomorrow at a summit in the Angolan capital of Luanda. Moreover, President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as chairperson of the Southern African development community will be present at the summit hosted by Angolan president Joao Lourenco who is also the chairperson of the SADC Organ on politics, defense and security.