It is becoming apparent that Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s colorful and wayward President, is refusing to step down as his country’s leader after making his first televised address since his house arrest last week. This comes according to Time magazine.
“From tonight… the nation at all levels gets refocused.”
These were the puzzling words Mugabe offered his nation of 17 million citizens during an address broadcasted live on state television. He also made mention of “understandable” past lapses as the result of the current tension in the state, which carries all the hallmarks of a coup d’état, which began earlier this week.
Zanu-PF Zimbabwe’s ruling party gave Mugabe until 10 a.m GMT to resign or face impeachment. Mugabe, who took over as Zimbabwe’s leader after its independence from Great Britain in 1980, has ruled with an authoritarian iron fist, which has been solely responsible for massive human rights violations and the collapse of the economy.
He was placed under house arrest by the country’s national army on November 15 and finally replaced as leader by his former Vice President, the man known as “the crocodile,” Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa was recently fired by Mugabe, as most suspected the 93-year-old was grooming his often controversial, and much-disliked wife, Grace Mugabe to succeed him to power.
Grace Mugabe and several other senior officials have since been expelled from the Zanu-PF party amid allegations of corruption and abuse of power.
In an update coming from the BBC news, Robert Mugabe has made it clear that he plans to preside over the Zanu-PF in next month’s congress in Harare. This now appears to be certain, as most had expected him to resign outright.
Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans have taken to the streets of Harare in recent days to voice their bitter disapproval of Mugabe, his family, and his rule. More protest can be expected in the coming days.
With reports of military tanks and military personnel along the streets in an effort to maintain peace, there are fears that this atmosphere, could quickly reach a boiling point. Mugabe, after all, does have many supporters in Zimbabwe, and many outside, with many African leaders who have turned a blind eye and have failed to denounce his many human rights violations.
Stay tuned for more updates.
[Featured Image by Diego Azubel Pool/ Getty Images]