Robert Mugabe vows to stay in power

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has vowed to stay in power for several weeks, despite mounting calls for him to stand down now. In a live television address, Mr Mugabe said he would preside over the ruling party’s congress in December. His party Zanu-PF sacked him as party leader yesterday, and gave him less than 24 hours to resign as president or be impeached. Officials say, Zanu-PF appointed ex-Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as President.

Emmerson Mnangagwa had been fired by Mr Mugabe two weeks ago. The sacking of Mr Mnangagwa had prompted an extraordinary chain of events as the military intervened to block Mr Mugabe, 93, from installing his wife, Grace, in his place. The first lady has been expelled from the party altogether. His grip on power has weakened since the military intervened in a row over who should succeed him.

Crowds had gathered in Harare yesterday to watch the speech, with Mr Mugabe widely expected to resign. Instead, flanked by military generals, Mugabe said the ruling Zanu-PF party congress is due in a few weeks and he will preside over its processes. President Mugabe acknowledged criticism from Zanu-PF, the military and public, and stressed the need to return the situation in the country to normalcy.

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