Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe makes first public appearance since Army’s takeover
He attended the graduation ceremony at a Harare university.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe made a public appearance on Friday, his first since the country’s Army took over two days earlier, Reuters reported. He was seen at the graduation ceremony of Zimbabwe Open University in Harare.
Earlier, Mugabe was reported to have refused to step down despite growing calls for his resignation.
Mugabe and his family have been held at home since Wednesday after the Zimbabwe Defence 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. By Wednesday evening, the ruling party, Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front, had said the president and his family, though in detention, were safe.
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.
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.