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Pressure continues to pile on Mugabe to go

Pressure continues to pile on President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since independence, the first seven years as Prime Minister, to go.

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces which took over the running of the country on Wednesday but insisted that this was not a military coup is trying to ensure that Mugabe bows out constitutionally so that any government that takes over is accepted by the international community, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community.

War veterans who were kicked out of the part by Mugabe but retained their leadership through the courts are organising a rally that is likely to be bigger than the one that welcomed Mugabe 37 years ago at the same venue when he arrived to liberate the country.

Today’s solidarity march is expected to transcend party political divisions and is likely to attract the opposition and civil society to demonstrate to Mugabe that people no longer want him.

Mugabe, who is turning 94 in three months, still believes he has the support of the people though even his wife, who was the cause of the problem he is facing, also seems to have ditched him.

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s 10 provinces have all called on him and his wife to step down from the party.

If he survives the purge from his own party, Parliament is likely to go for him when it resumes sitting on Tuesday.

With every legislator, especially those from ZANU-PF trying distance themselves from the G40 faction which has now lost power, this should be a walkover as ZANU-PF on its own has enough votes to impeach Mugabe.

Sources, however, say Mugabe has already agreed to step down but the Zimbabwe Defence Forces struck a deal to allow him to step down at the proposed special congress of the party next month to give this legitimacy and acceptance by the international community as they do not want their intervention to be construed as a military coup.

Some media reports have construed Mugabe’s continued stay in office and his officiating at State functions as a sign that he is refusing to step down.

In its statement last night, the ZDF said: “Consistent with the ongoing operation, the ZDF wishes to advise the nation that steady progress is being made and that there has been no variation at all from their original objectives.

“Contrary to certain media reports which the ZDF believes are being generated by some of the culprits who have been apprehended, the nation is being advised that the operation remains solid and at the same time Zimbabweans are being requested to be patient.”

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