President Robert Mugabe’s party, the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front, has asked the 93-year-old leader to step down. It plans to hold a rally in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare on Saturday, local paper The Herald reported.
The party’s move comes days after Zimbabwe’s Defense Forces took over the headquarters of state broadcaster ZBC and detained Mugabe and his family at their home. Mugabe’s own party refusing to let him lead is a clear sign that the ageing leader’s authority has collapsed after the Army takeover, The Herald reported. The Army is supporting the ruling party’s rally on Saturday, BBC reported.
The newspaper said ZANU-PF branches in all 10 provinces had met and called for Mugabe’s wife Grace, whose ambitions to succeed her husband triggered the political crisis, to resign from the party. On Thursday, the country’s interim government announced that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who Mugabe fired, was likely to lead the country.
On Friday, after three days under house arrest, Mugabe made his first public appearance at a graduation ceremony in the capital.
Mugabe, who has been at Zimbabwe’s helm since independence from Britain in 1980, is reportedly refusing to step down. His government has been accused of several human rights violations. He is also accused of maladministration, which has led to a collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy and healthcare system, among other administrative failures.