MNA International Desk: President Robert Mugabe stunned Zimbabwe on Sunday by making no mention of resignation in a television address, defying his own ZANU-PF party, which had sacked him hours earlier.
Two sources – one a senior member of the government, the other familiar with talks with leaders of the military – had told media Mugabe would announce his resignation to the nation after ZANU-PF dismissed him as its leader in a move precipitated by an army takeover four days earlier.
But in the speech from his State House office, sitting alongside a row of generals, Mugabe acknowledged criticisms from ZANU-PF, the military and the public but made no mention of his own position.
Instead, he said the events of the week were not ‘a challenge to my authority as head of state and government’, and pledged to preside over the congress scheduled for next month.
ZANU-PF had given the 93-year-old, who has led his country since independence in 1980, 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 military coup.