The 93-year-old leader of Zimbabwe has vowed to stay in power despite military pressure to step down.
In a live television address a shaky, and at times slightly confused, President Mugabe declared he would continue as the leader of ruling party Zanu-PF.
This came as a shock after Zanu-PF gave Mugabe 24 hours to resign as head of state or face impeachment. This was seen as an effort by the ruling party to secure a peaceful end to Mugabe’s 37-year rein as president.
Zimbabwe’s embattled leader, Robert Mugabe, has vowed to stay in power for several weeks despite intensifying pressure on him to resign
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 19, 2017
His authority was weakened when the military intervened last Tuesday. The move came in response to Mugabe sacking his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, two weeks earlier, which was viewed by the army as an attempt to move his wife, Grace, into the position of his successor.
In Mugabe's televised speech, he addressed the criticism that has been directed at him from the public, the military and Zanu-PF, though he made no mention of stepping down.
Hours earlier Mr Mnangagwa was officially named as the new leader of Zanu-PF and the candidate for the 2018 general elections. During the same party meeting unpopular first lady, Grace Mugabe, was expelled from the party, along with numerous other senior members.
"The (ruling Zanu-PF) party congress is due in a few weeks and I will preside over its processes," President Mugabe informed Zimbabwe.
It is unclear whether Mugabe will continue his leadership over Zanu-PF in the coming elections now that he has been dismissed as party leader.
“That speech has nothing to do with realities. We will go for impeachment and we are calling people back to the streets,” Chris Mutsvangwa, head of the influential association, told AFP. Parliament resumes on Tuesday, many saying impeachment will be the next step.