HARARE (Reuters and CNBC Africa) – Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe in a widely watched address at 9pm CAT on ZBC failed to announce plans to step down despite expectations. The 93 year old discussed the economy, the state of Zanu-PF and agriculture season. At times he was incoherent. He even seemed to have skipped a few pages in the process.
In response Zanu-PF had this to say:
Actually all the old man needed to do was stick to the script. Now we must remove him.
— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 19, 2017
Mugabe’s defiance left many dismayed:
#Mugabe is a very stubborn man.Right now, he basically said he doesn’t care what anyone says,he is staying as President
— Ancillar Mangena (@ancillarmangena) November 19, 2017
Please forgive Robert Mugabe. He has no clue about what just happened. A great lesson to Africa . Never allow one man to think he is God. Mugabe thinks we can’t do without him. Terrible bubble #Zimbabwe https://t.co/nFS2UhtCI8
— Trevor Ncube (@TrevorNcube) November 19, 2017
Very much #Mugabe style. Die hard he won't go down without a fight! Again he has out witted the world
— Tinashe Joe Musere (@tinashemusere) November 19, 2017
Mugabe became leader of ZANU PF and country president because he was the smartest in the room. Seems he still is some 37 years later…outsmarted everyone in that room, country and all of us… https://t.co/4kHR84Lb9B
— Ron Derby (@ronderby) November 19, 2017
He called the military's bluff by not resigning. He's now forcing them to call the shots. Will they remove their liberator? Given Mugabe's legacy, there's likely to be division around whether this is the right way for him to exit. Astute move.
— Ronak Gopaldas (@RonakGopaldas) November 19, 2017
Earlier in the day Mugabe was dismissed as leader of Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party in a move to force a peaceful end to his 37 years in power following a de facto military coup.
He was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy he sacked this month, sources at a special ZANU-PF meeting to decide Mugabe’s fate told Reuters.
Mugabe later in the day met military chiefs for a second round of negotiations to encourage him to stand down after 37 years in power, according to The Herald state newspaper.