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09.46 19 Nov 2017


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Updated: 13.10

Robert Mugabe has been dismissed as leader of the ruling ZANU-PF party, but remains as Zimbabwe's president.

Former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa has been appointed as the new leader of the party in a widely expected move, party sources said.

Mr Mugabe's wife Grace has also been expelled by ZANU-PF.

It follows threats from the leader of Zimbabwe's war veterans, in which he said officials would unleash the mob on the 93-year-old if he does not resign as president.

The threat was made by war veterans' leader Chris Mutsvangwa, who said if Mr Mugabe refuses to step aside that: "We will bring back the crowds and they will do their business."

He said he hopes Mr Mugabe "gives in" and tenders his resignation to avoid "the prospect of the military shooting at people, trying to defend him".

He added: "The choice is his."

Youth league leader Yeukai Simbanegavi said Mr Mugabe should take a rest as an "elder statesmen", while his wife should be expelled from the party "forever".

She said: "It is unfortunate that the president allowed her to usurp executive authority from him, thereby destroying both the party and the government."

Deposed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (front) pictured at a gathering in Harare in November 2017 | Image: Xinhua/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Mr Mugabe has so far refused to leave office and could face impeachment when the Zimbabwe parliament resumes on Tuesday.

Ruling party committee member Obert Mpofu said Grace Mugabe and close associates "have taken advantage of his [Robert Mugabe] frail condition" to loot national resources.

On Saturday, Mr Mugabe's nephew insisted his uncle and Grace Mugabe were "ready to die for what is correct" and said the embattled President had no intention of stepping down.

Speaking from a secret location in South Africa, Patrick Zhuwao told Reuters that Mr Mugabe had hardly slept since the military seized power on Wednesday.

People gathered to demonstrate for the ouster of 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe in Harare, Zimbabwe | Image: Ben Curtis/AP/Press Association Images

He added that Mr Mugabe's health was "good", but he would not legitimise the "coup" that overthrew him.

It comes after thousands of people marched on the streets of Harare and Bulawayo on Saturday, demanding Mr Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, resign.

Supported by the military, crowds sang, danced and hugged soldiers as they marched towards his official State House residence.

Mr Mugabe has been under house arrest in his lavish 'Blue Roof' compound in the wealthy Harare suburb of Borrowdale since the military seized control.

Mr Mutsvangwa, a former state security chief, is thought to be in line to head an interim unity government that will focus on stabilising Zimbabwe's shattered economy.

Mr Mugabe will begin a second round of talks with army commander Constantino Chiwenga later on Sunday.


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