Global Issues

Mugabe ‘resisting calls to resign’ after military coup keeps him in house arrest

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Zimbabwe’s long-time President Robert Mugabe is reportedly refusing to step down immediately, despite growing calls for his resignation.

The 93-year-old was put under house arrest during a military takeover on Wednesday, amid a power struggle over who would succeed him.

The army moved in after Mr Mugabe last week sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, signalling that he favoured his wife Grace Mugabe to take over his Zanu-PF party and thus the presidency.

There has been no official word on the outcome of talks he had with regional envoys and the army chief earlier.

But sources say he has so far refused to agree to move aside.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said earlier it was “in the interests of the people” that Mr Mugabe “resign… immediately”.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist. On winning power after British rule, he moved swiftly to extinguish political opposition.
He ordered a violent crackdown that led to a string of massacres in opposition strongholds. The country’s Fifth Brigade is believed to have killed up to 20,000 people, mostly supporters of Mugabe’s main political rival.
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