Mugabe resisting pressure from military to resign

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Nov 2017 14:10:27


 

By MacDonald Dzirutwe,

HARARE,

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler and balking at mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the 93-year-old former guerrilla a graceful exit after a military coup, sources said on Thursday. The military remains in the streets of the capital, Harare, as the mood is tense.


A political source who spoke to senior allies holed up with Mugabe and his family in his lavish “Blue House” Harare compound said Mugabe had no plans to resign voluntarily ahead of elections scheduled next year.


“It’s a sort of stand-off, a stalemate,” the source said. “They are insisting the president must finish his term.” The army’s takeover signalled the collapse in less than 36 hours of the security, intelligence and patronage networks that sustained him through 37 years in power and built him into the “Grand Old Man” of African politics.


The priest, Fidelis Mukonori, who has been mediating between Mugabe and the generals who seized power on Wednesday in a targeted operation against “criminals” in his entourage, had also made little headway, a senior political source told Reuters.


The army appears to want Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, to go quietly and allow a smooth and bloodless transition to former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.