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Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe vows to stay on despite army pressure

People watch as Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addresses the nation on television, at a bar in Harare, Zimbabwe, 19 November 2017 Image copyright Reuters

Zimbabwe’s embattled leader Robert Mugabe has vowed to stay in power for several weeks, despite intensifying pressure on him to stand down.

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

The Zanu-PF earlier sacked him as party leader, and gave him less than 24 hours to resign as president or be impeached.

His grip on power has weakened since the military intervened last week in a row over who should succeed him.

A crisis was triggered after Mr Mugabe sacked his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, two weeks ago, angering the army who saw it as an attempt to move his wife, Grace, into the position of his successor.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Mnangagwa was named as Zanu-PF’s new leader and candidate for the 2018 general elections.

At the same party meeting, Mr Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife, Grace, was expelled from the party, alongside a number of other senior officials.

“The (ruling Zanu-PF) party congress is due in a few weeks and I will preside over its processes,” President Mugabe told the nation on Sunday.

He also acknowledged criticism against him from the Zanu-Pf, the military and public, but did not mention the possibility of resigning.

It is not entirely clear how Robert Mugabe can preside over Zanu-PF’s congress next month, following his dismissal as party leader.

Party positions are officially decided at the congress and Emmerson Mnangagwa may officially take over leading the country then.


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