Journalism of Courage

Defiant Mugabe resists resignation pressure in televised address

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe defied expectations he would resign on Sunday, pledging to preside over a ZANU-PF congress in December even though the ruling party had removed him as its leader hours earlier.

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.

Flanked by a row of generals, Mugabe acknowledged “a whole range of concerns from you all, citizens of our great country,” but he stressed that they “did not amount to a threat to the constitutional order nor a challenge to my authority as head of government, not even as commander of the Zimbabwean defence forces.Referring to next month’s ZANU-PF congress, Mugabe noted, “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.”

Calling on Zimbabweans to “refocus” on solving the problems facing the nation, Mugabe noted that, “We are generally a peaceably disposed people, resolving differences by ourselves with a level of dignity, discipline and restraint so rare in other nations.”

 

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