President Robert Mugabe on Sunday defied his party’s call for him to resign saying he will president over the ruling Zanu PF’s Extra Ordinary Congress in December aimed at choosing the party’s new leadership.
Speaking on the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation surrounded by security chiefs who toppled him last Wednesday, Mugabe acknowledged that there were serious issues in the party and government that should be tackled.
The president was expected to resign after meeting the military at State House but never mentioned it in his prepared speech but instead noted that the concerns of the securocrats, and war veterans needed to be addressed.
“In respect of the party and issues raised by the commanders and the generality of membership of the party these two stand acknowledged. They have to be attended with a sense of urgency.
“Indeed the current criticism raised by the command elements and its members have a reason from a well-founded perception that the party was stretching and even failing in its rules and procedures.”
Mr. Mugabe said the dismissal of members of the party was not properly done. “The era of victimization and arbitrary decisions must be put behind so as we all embrace new ethos predicated on the supreme law of our party and nourished by an abiding sense of comradeship.”
He said all omissions and contradictions in the party will be addressed at the forthcoming congress which he will chair. “The congress is due in a few weeks from now. I will preside over processes which must prepossessed by any acts calculated to undermine it or to compromise the outcomes in the eyes of the public.
“… I am aware that many developments have occurred in the party or have been championed and done by individuals in the name of the party. The anger that this may have triggered in some quarters, such developments are understandable. However, we cannot be guided by bitterness of vengefulness which will not make us any better party members or any better Zimbabweans.”
He appealed for reconciliation in Zimbabwe noting that a similar move was made towards white colonial rulers who brutalized local people before the country attained independence from British rule in 1980.
The ruling party has given President Mugabe up to Monday afternoon to resign or face impeachment after recalling him from the party and government.
Members of the so-called Generation 40, who were referred to as criminals by the military when it seized all state institutions last Wednesday, wanted First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband.
They targeted ruling party members linked to sacked Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who allegedly harbored presidential ambitions, and forced them to leave the party claiming that they wanted to remove the president from office unconstitutionally.