Zimbabwe’s future remains uncertain as embattled President Robert Mugabe is set to meet with the army chiefs who took over the country in a bid to end the crisis that has gripped the nation. Follow the live updates.
Army may end up opening fire to protect Mugabe from protesters, says war vets boss
An influential figure in Zimbabwe’s ruling party says he is concerned about possible violence if President Robert Mugabe does not resign immediately.
Chris Mutsvangwa, head of the liberation war veterans, says he is concerned that the military could end up opening fire to protect Mugabe from protesters.
He says there will be more demonstrations like the massive one Saturday if Mugabe’s negotiations with the military on his departure from power don’t end soon.
He hopes Mugabe “gives into the fact that he has got to tender his resignation and leave”.
Mugabe was set to meet on Sunday with the army commander who put him under house arrest in a second round of talks.
Mugabe must leave office ‘today’: war veterans’ leader
Harare – President Robert Mugabe must leave office on Sunday, the head of Zimbabwe’s war veterans association said as pressure builds on the authoritarian leader to resign after a military takeover.
“The army must finish with him today. He’d better give in to them now,” Chris Mutsvangwa told reporters ahead of a crunch meeting between Mugabe and the generals who took control of the country.
He should have been long retired’ – veteran on Mugabe
Members of Zanu-PF have started arriving at the party’s headquarters in the capital where they are expected to tell President Robert Mugabe that he has officially been recalled.
The party’s special central committee is expected to meet and push through the resolution made by provincial structures to recall Mugabe as the leader of the party and therefore the president of the country.
This comes after a tense week where the military took over key government buildings in the city, giving Mugabe an ultimatum to step down.
On Saturday thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets to demand Mugabe step down after nearly four decades as the president.
Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu has been chosen as the most senior person at the meeting.
Mpofu says “the people of Zimbabwe” spoke yesterday judging by the massive turn out of people.
Zanu-PF senior officials have just checked if they’ve got a quorum, and it has been reached.
They’re now looking for nominations for the most senior person at the meeting to chair it
LATEST: Zimbabwe party members urge Mugabe to ‘rest’
The youth league of Zimbabwe’s ruling party says President Robert Mugabe should resign and take a rest as an “elder statesman”, while his wife, Grace, should be expelled from the party “forever”.
The Zanu-PF ruling party is holding an emergency meeting to discuss demands to recall Mugabe as party leader.Youth league leader Yeukai Simbanegavi praises the military for moving against what she describes as a group of “criminals” led by Grace Mugabe.
“It is unfortunate that the president allowed her to usurp executive authority from him, thereby destroying both the party and the government,” Simbanegavi says at ruling party headquarters.
Senior figures in Zimbabwe’s ruling party are gathering ahead of an emergency meeting to discuss calls to expel longtime President Robert Mugabe from the party.
A Zanu-PF party committee is meeting at headquarters in the capital, Harare.
Soldiers are checking vehicles at the gate and a military vehicle is parked inside the grounds.
The military has Mugabe under house arrest after moving in last week, angered by Mugabe’s firing of his longtime deputy.
At the edge of the party’s compound, a ruling party banner that showed Mugabe’s face has been partly torn down, possibly by demonstrators who surged through Harare on Saturday to demand that the president resign.
Zimbabwe’s parliament will “definitely” put in motion a process to impeach President Robert Mugabe, the main opposition’s parliamentary chief whip says, adding that they have been in discussions with the ruling Zanu-PF party to act jointly.
Innocent Gonese with the MDC-T party said: “If Mugabe is not gone by Tuesday, then as sure as the sun rises from the east, impeachment process will kick in.
“The MDC-T has unsuccessfully tried to impeach Mugabe in the past, but now the ruling party has turned against him.
A “breakthrough prayer” for Zimbabwe has been scheduled to take place in Harare and Bulawayo on Sunday, with people being urged to bring their national flags, candles and crosses.
The gathering is meant to unite Christians.
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF meets to discuss his exit
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party will meet on Sunday to discuss removing him as president, a government MP and a party official has said.
“There’s a central committee meeting (on Sunday) to endorse the resolutions reached by the provinces,” said the MP.
The parliamentarian, who declined to be named, referred to the decision by eight of the party’s ten regional committees on Friday to call for Mugabe to resign as president and party leader.
“Yes we are meeting (Sunday) to endorse the decisions of the nine provinces,” said the party official who confirmed that a further region had called on Mugabe to go since Friday night’s announcement.
Earlier reports quoted Zhuwawo as saying that Mugabe had hardly slept since the military seized power on Wednesday.
According to Reuters, Zhuwawo, however, said that Mugabe’s health was otherwise “good”.
He said that Mugabe and his wife Grace had no intention of stepping down, adding that they were “ready to die for what is correct”.
President Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwawo, who is also the minister of public service, has described Zimbabwean as “dumb”, saying that they are being used by the military to fight his uncle.
Zhuwawo said this while speaking during an interview with SABC from a secret location in South Africa.
“The coup by the way is rather laughable because it is a coup that is meant to bolster the fortunes of one presidential aspirant by the name Emmerson Mnangagwa, who failed to navigate himself through the political processes of Zanu-PF.”
Watch the SABC clip below
Sources suggest Mugabe has been battling to negotiate a delay to his exit and to ensure future protection for him and his family.
He attended a graduation ceremony on Friday, in a show of defiance over the talks with General Constantino Chiwenga, who led the military power grab.
Nine of the 10 regional branches of Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF have now called for him to go.
A Zanu-PF MP, and a national party official, who both declined to be named, confirmed that the party’s executive committee would meet on Sunday to seek to have Mugabe removed as party leader.
The army seizure of power was the climax of a dispute over who would succeed the ailing leader. Before being pushed out as vice president, Mnangagwa had clashed repeatedly with Mugabe’s wife.
Both had been seen as leading contenders, but Mnangagwa had the tacit support of the armed forces, which was strongly against the political ambitions of Grace Mugabe. – AFP
A symbolic location, Highfield was where Mugabe gave his first speech after returning from exile ahead of independence in 1980.
In central Harare, a group of young men tore down a green metal street sign bearing Robert Mugabe’s name and smashed it repeatedly on the road.
Such an open display of defiance would have been unthinkable just a week ago as dissent was routinely crushed by security forces.
Major General Sibusiso Moyo, whose statement on state TV marked the completion of the take-over in the early hours of Wednesday, told reporters at the protests that the people of Zimbabwe are “disciplined, orderly and they are unified”. – AFP
The majority of Zimbabweans have only known life under Mugabe’s rule, which has been defined by violent suppression, economic collapse and international isolation.
“I went to university but here I am selling bananas to earn a living. If it wasn’t for Mugabe, I would be doing something else,” said one protester, street vendor Abel Kapodogo, 34.
In scenes of public euphoria not seen since independence in 1980, huge crowds marched and sang their way through Harare and other cities on Saturday, demanding the end of Mugabe’s authoritarian rule.
The marches came after a historic week in which the military seized power and put Mugabe under house arrest in response to his sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a perceived rival of Mugabe’s powerful 52-year-old wife Grace who had increasingly voiced her ambition to succeed her spouse.
Saturday’s gatherings were peaceful, despite a stand-off when armed soldiers barred protesters from reaching Mugabe’s official residence, the State House.
The demonstrations were called by independence war veterans and included citizens of all ages, jubilant that Mugabe appeared to be on his way out.
“This is the best day of my life. We are hoping for a new life after Mugabe,” said 38-year-old Sam Sechete at the main rally in Highfield, a working-class suburb of Harare. – AFP
Zimbabwean army generals will pile further pressure on President Robert Mugabe to resign on Sunday after tens of thousands of overjoyed protesters celebrated the apparent end of his 37-year regime.
Mugabe’s hold on power was broken this week when the military took over in a dispute over who would succeed the 93-year-old president, the world’s oldest head of state.
Mugabe remains in office but now faces overwhelming opposition from the generals, much of the Zimbabwean public and from within Zanu-PF, the once loyal party now calling for his exit.
“President Robert Mugabe will meet the command element of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces tomorrow,” state television announced on Saturday.
The two sides first met for talks on Thursday, smiling in photographs that attempted to present a dignified image of the tense process of negotiating Mugabe’s departure. – AFP
Mugabe, army chiefs to meet for crunch talks
Embattled President Robert Mugabe will meet on Sunday with the army chiefs who took over Zimbabwe in a bid to end the crisis that has gripped the nation, state TV said.
“President Robert Mugabe will meet the commander-elect of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (on Sunday),” said the ZBC broadcaster, citing father Fidelis Mukonori, the catholic priest who is chairing the talks between Mugabe and the military.
The announcement of the crunch talks comes after tens of thousands of overjoyed protesters flooded Zimbabwe’s streets on Saturday, celebrating the crumbling of Mugabe’s ruthless regime which had controlled the country for nearly 40 years.