Zimbabwe's ruling party fired its leader, Robert Mugabe, 93, and he faces impeachment if he refuses to vacate his post by 10:00 GBT, Monday. The 200 delegates assembled in ZANU-PF’s Harare cheered over the formal announcement to oust the head of state on Sunday.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Harare expressing their jubilation over the central party's decision. War veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa, who initiated an 18-month campaign to overthrow someone he's referred to as a "dictator," was particularly overjoyed with the news. “The President is gone," he said. "Long live the new President.”
This is Mugabe’s political party dancing after sacking him & expelling his wife. Today is historic in Zimbabwe... https://t.co/sfOEp3onju— Obianuju Ekeocha (@Obianuju Ekeocha)1511096747.0
However, the celebratory news became muddled when Mugabe gave a televised address in which he made no mention of his resgination. Instead, he said he intended to preside over the next party conference in a few weeks.
Robert Mugabe: I will preside over the @zanu_pf party conference in a few weeks time. MORE: https://t.co/1CwmvKoDTV https://t.co/xvwB0rpefv— Sky News Australia (@Sky News Australia)1511119205.0
Mugabe has ended his speech. He is NOT resigning— Zim Media Review (@Zim Media Review)1511119286.0
@TembaMliswa Is he aware that he has been fired from zanu pf— zim fyn@skyllex blax (@zim fyn@skyllex blax)1511119646.0
Although there were no details given of the discussion between Mugabe with military leaders, the Zimbabwe Herald released photos of an earlier meeting on Sunday.
President Robert Mugabe met with Army Generals this afternoon. https://t.co/m7EViqyPjS— The Herald Zimbabwe (@The Herald Zimbabwe)1511101065.0
After reigning for over four decades in power, Mugabe continued buying time to make a "dignified exit." But Mutsvangwa threatened, “We will bring back the crowds, and they will do their business.”
@HeraldZimbabwe This is unprecedented— Ivan C.Kalema (@Ivan C.Kalema)1511104126.0
@HeraldZimbabwe This looks like farewell to me. With a camera man capturing the "not coup" for the world to see😂😂😂😂— Zimbabwe's Own Zimbabwean (@Zimbabwe's Own Zimbabwean)1511101488.0
The party has fired him. He's gone he's not presiding over anything. He's insane. We're matching to the Blue Roof— Hon. Temba P. Mliswa (@Hon. Temba P. Mliswa)1511119497.0
The ruling party is set to impeach Mugabe if he refuses to step down by Monday. With a higher than the required two-thirds majority in both houses of Zimbabwe parliament to impeach the president, the party could succeed unlike the opposition MDC-T party's failed attempts in the past.
First lady Grace Mugabe and other senior officials were also dismissed from the party as Mugabe secured plans for his wife to succeed him, but the military intervened on Saturday to block him in his attempt. Zanu-PF appointed ex-Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was previously expelled by Mugabe this month, to succeed the ruling party leader's position.
According to Reuters, Mugabe was notoriously known as the “Thinking Man’s Guerrilla” in his early years, which is a stark contrast for a man who touted himself presently as someone with a "degree in violence."
@ZimMediaReview #mugabe is totally intoxicated with power! A true Dictator who's not going anywhere!!! I wonder if… https://t.co/1CAZ4AJ53I— Sharon Peetz (@Sharon Peetz)1511119806.0
The Reuters report also touched on the impact ZANU-PF's latest decision will have on the country:
His stunning downfall is likely to send shockwaves across Africa, where a number of entrenched strongmen, from Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni to Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila, are facing mounting pressure to step down.
Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, disclosed they would be “ready to die for what is correct,” rather than being forced to step down quietly.
Former education minister David Coltart is worried that the military-backed change in leadership is intrinsically just a swapping of autocratic rulers as opposed to Zimbabwean-appointed leadership.
The real danger of the current situation is that having got their new preferred candidate into State House, the military will want to keep him or her there, no matter what the electorate wills.
@obianuju I pray it's a change for the better, and not just trading one despot for another.— Tex Lovera (@Tex Lovera)1511096903.0
@texlovera Exactly!!! That is why I’m asking for prayers. It is not over yet. It is not settled yet. It’s just a st… https://t.co/QxIh8a3R3R— Obianuju Ekeocha (@Obianuju Ekeocha)1511097014.0
One senior official remains hopeful. He told BBC's Andrew Harding: "It's the dawn of a new era. Mugabe can go farming."
@jonathansword Yes. Now we pray for the long healing and recovery process.— Obianuju Ekeocha (@Obianuju Ekeocha)1511097141.0
@obianuju historic indeed. Can't return to Rhodesia. In the midst of all this ...hope there's a plan to take… https://t.co/nqa0mLcCDK— Verna Smith (@Verna Smith)1511111073.0
@obianuju We have to hope now Zimbabwe moves in a better direction, a freer direction.— OJFL (@OJFL)1511101066.0
Could it have a rippling global effect?
@obianuju US will be next #impeachment of current @POTUS— Senator Amidala (@Senator Amidala)1511115152.0
@obianuju @OffroadracerSA World is changing people are aware & does the booting @ the appropriate time.— Sharath (@Sharath)1511109981.0
Either Mugabe won't be going anywhere soon, or he just had selective hearing about being fired.
Mugabe says he will oversee process of succession. This isn't a resignation guys.— Matt Kilcoyne (@Matt Kilcoyne)1511119129.0
Pages were skipped. Chiwenga passed right speech to his team. Mugabe is history. He does not realize this. His part… https://t.co/QvynTI8cSZ— Trevor Ncube (@Trevor Ncube)1511119789.0
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