The ruling party’s Central Committee just hours earlier told him to resign as president by noon Monday or face impeachment proceedings the following day.
Mugabe In a brocast, message to his country said he discussed with the nation’s security force command before speaking to the nation.
Members of ZANU-PF, which Mugabe co-founded to usher his country into independence, voted the 93-year-old President out on Sunday and anointed Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president fired by Mugabe earlier this month, as new party leader.
Statement were circular before the address that Mugabe would resign the presidency.
While acknowledging the struggles and criticisms that led the nation’s security forces to seize power, and the pressure for him to resign, Mugabe said he will preside over the ZANU-PF congress in December.
“Today’s meeting with the command element has underscored the need for us to collectively start processes that return our nation to normalcy So that all our people can go about their business unhindered, in an environment of perfect peace and security. ”
He also enumerated all the concerns raised by the nation’s security force and his own party, including the struggling Zimbabwean economy, and added they should be attended to with great urgency.
During his address, Mugabe was flanked by various uniformed members of the Zimbabwean armed forces. His address was received with tepid applause by those sitting next to him. Minutes later he stood up and shook hands with members of the armed forces.
Removing Mugabe as party leader does not dethrone him as Zimbabwe’s President, but it is a clear indication that if parliament holds a vote on his future, they will have the numbers to impeach him.
The army commander who took Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe under house arrest just days ago was helping Mugabe to turn the pages of his speech as he addresses the nation on his resignation.
Zimbabweans accustomed to hours-long speeches by Mugabe are wondering how long this one will take.
The state-run broadcaster introduced Mugabe’s speech by saying: “Sit back, relax and join us.”
Ruling party leaders have told him to step aside by noon Monday or face impeachment. He says people cannot “ride roughshod over party rules and procedures.”
He has shaken the hands of the military leaders who put him under house arrest just days ago. He says he is aware of a “whole range of concerns,” including the economy, which is going through “a difficult patch.”
Mugabe is poised to step down after 37 years in power. He is the world’s oldest head of state.
He says “the pillars of state remained functional” amid the crisis, in which Zimbabweans rallied by the tens of thousands against him and ruling party leaders told him to step aside or face impeachment.