After an apparent military takeover which rocked Zimbabwe earlier this week, it seems President Robert Mugabe has lost the long-time support of his own party – ZANU-PF.
According to Zimbabwe national TV, ZANU-PF has now turned against Mugabe. The state broadcaster and Herald reported that all 10 of the veteran leader’s political party’s provincial committees called on him to resign on Friday amid military coup.
Three decades ago, this would have sounded like a joke. However, it appears that the country and its citizens have had enough of his iron grip on power which has lingered for 37 years.
“The province resolved unanimously to recall the president from being the president of the party and the government,” said Cornelius Mupereri, a spokesman for the party’s Midlands region. Mupereri was one of many branch officials who appeared on ZBC’s nightly news to call for the 93-year-old leader to let go.
While they didn’t blink an eye about two weeks ago before supporting the firing of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, provincial committees of the ruling party across the country said the 93-year-old president had lost control of the government and needs to go.
Losing the support of his party will be a major blow to Mugabe, who is reported to still be holding out against demands by the military for him to step down. He has repeatedly said he will “never, ever” release his grip on power.
While all daily activities continued as usual, the military took over on Monday, detaining several ministers and placing President Mugabe under house arrest. Nevertheless, Mugabe made a public appearance at a graduation ceremony on Friday this despite the military saying he’s confined to his home.
Social justice activist Ostalos Sibiza says Zimbabweans understand the military has to appear to be handling the situation amicably in order to preserve international relations.
A senior member of Zanu-PF earlier confirmed to Reuters that the party wanted their long-time president gone. For what it’s worth, the party is ready to resort to impeachment if he continues to be recalcitrant.
“If he becomes stubborn, we will arrange for him to be fired on Sunday,” the source said. “When that is done, it’s impeachment on Tuesday.”
The former Zimbabwean vice president who was sacked by Mugabe last week was said to be back on Wednesday morning and is expected to take control of power as soon as possible.