Mugabe to address Zimbabwe as end of his presidency nears

Expectation was mounting that he would resign on Sunday night after Zimbabwe state TV said he would “address the nation live from State House”.

Mugabe’s grip on power was broken last week when the military took over, angered at his wife Grace’s emergence as the leading candidate to succeed the 93-year-old president.

At a ruling ZANU-PF party meeting earlier in the day, delegates cheered wildly as a party official announced that Mugabe had been ousted as party chief.

He was replaced by former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had been Grace Mugabe’s chief rival.

In a stunning reversal of allegiances, the party added that it would impeach Mugabe if he did not resign by Monday, Mnangagwa would be its candidate in 2018 elections, and that Grace was expelled from the ZANU-PF ranks.

Robert Mugabe — the world’s oldest head of state — remained national president but faces overwhelming opposition from the generals, much of the Zimbabwean public and from his own party.

“(Mugabe’s) wife and close associates have taken advantage of his frail condition to usurp power and loot state resources,” party official Obert Mpofu told the ZANU-PF meeting.

Army chief Constantino Chiwenga held further talks with Mugabe on Sunday at State House, the president’s official residence.

Official photographs of the meeting showed one officer saluting the president, who stood behind his desk, and several senior officers sitting in a formal room with white sofas and a bright red carpet.

No details of the meeting were released.

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