HARARE – As the Zimbabwe nation fall into disappointment after President Mugabe fails to resign, a disturbing video footage of the press conference shows Zimbabwe Defences Forces Commander General Chiwenga and Police Commissioner Chihuri changing the speech for Mugabe.
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has defied widespread calls to quit as president, telling the nation he would “preside” over his party’s next congress. This follows his dismissal by the ZANU-PF’s Central Committee.
Mugabe, surrounded by military and civilian officials, gave a rambling televised address Sunday evening, telling Zimbabweans they should respect 1980 independence war veterans and reconcile “inter-generational” differences.
The Central Committee of his ruling ZANU-PF party had earlier ousted him as party leaderand given him until noon Monday to end his 37-year-long reign as head of state or face impeachment.
During his speech, he acknowledged what he termed concerns raised in a “spirit of honesty” by elements of Zimbabwe’s security forces during the past week’s military intervention.
Failures of the past had triggered anger in some quarters, Mugabe said, adding that these were “quite understandable.”
Mugabe said he had just emerged from a meeting with commanders facilitated by mediators of the Catholic Church.
He claimed Zimbabwe was heading for a “promising agricultural season” and said the nation should get “refocused.”
Reportedly waiting in the wings as potential Zimbabwean president is Mugabe’s recently dismissed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The coup that wasn’t
Generals took over last Tuesday after it emerged that President Mugabe had fired Mnangawa and was set to install his highly unpopular wife, Grace, in the position. Mugabe was put under house arrest while refusing to step down as president after initial talks with the army.
With many jubilant at the end of repressive and economically disastrous Mugabe era, there are concerns that the military takeover last week will not herald a period of change, but rather, will continue the status quo.
By refusing the acknowledge that events amounted to a coup d’etat, the military appears to be trying to avoid triggering an automatic expulsion from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union.