Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is refusing to step down, says report
The country’s military said it is in talks with the leader and is in the process of identifying the ‘criminals’ around him.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has refused to step down despite growing calls for his resignation, the BBC reported on Friday.
Some reports had earlier said that ousted Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will now lead the country, but they have not been confirmed yet.
Mugabe and his family have been held at home since Wednesday, after the Zimbabwe Defense Forces took over the headquarters of state broadcaster ZBC. The military, however, denied any attempt at a coup and said the operation was only meant to target “criminals” around the president.
On Friday, the Zimbabwean military said it was engaging with Mugabe while also identifying and targeting the “criminals” around him. The Army said it would advise the nation on the outcome of talks with Mugabe soon.
By Wednesday evening, the ruling party, Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front, had said the president and his family, though in detention, were safe. A statement by South African President Jacob Zuma, who is also the head of the Southern African Development Community, had confirmed that Mugabe was being held at his home and was “fine”.
Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980. His government has been accused of several human rights violations. The 93-year-old is also accused of maladministration, which has led to a collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy and healthcare system, among other administrative failures.