A defiant Mugabe refuses to step down, asks country to move forward

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President Robert Mugabe on Sunday refused to step down from the presidency in a televised national address, trashing earlier expectations that he would resign.

In a brief address that started at 10.00PM and came hours after he was sacked as leader of Zanu-PF, Mugabe said the past mistakes will be corrected.

His wife, Grace Mugabe, was not in attendance.

He said the take over by the military was an attempt to take over his authority asking the country to move forward in the spirit of reconciliation.

Seated besides army commander, Constantine Chiwenga, Mugabe said: "Our nation tonight should get refocused. Let us all move forward reminding ourselves of our war time mantra. I thank you and good night."

Mugabe said pillars of the state must remain functional but acknowledged that there are some things that had gone wrong within the Zanu-PF that need to be corrected.

He said whatever differences exist within the leadership of Zanu-PF shall be resolved at a party congress "which I shall chair."

Mugabe said government remains committed to improving the social and material conditions of the people.

"We are a nation borne out of a protracted struggle for national independence. the tradition of resistance is our collective legacy whose core tenets must be subscribed by all across generations. This, too, was a great concern to our commanders."

Political analysts in Zimbabwe were quick to say that Mugabe will only give in when he is impeached.

He said the issues raised by the commanders are acknowledged and have to be attended to with a great sense of urgency.

"Zanu-PF has over the years written elaborate rules and procedures that guide the operations of all its procedures. The criticism raised against it by the command element and some of its members have arisen from a well founded perception that the party was failing in its own rules," Mugabe said

This inter generational conflict, he said, must be resolved through a harmonised melding of old established players as they embrace and welcome new one.

"We cant be guided by bitterness and vengefulness which will not make us any better as members or Zimbabweans," he said.

It remains to be seen how the military or the ordinary people shall react but members of the Zanu-PF immediately said they will push on with his impeachment.



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