Mugabe Faces Impeachment After Failing to Step Down in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe remains in political limbo after President Robert Mugabe failed to announce his much anticipated resignation in a televised address, and said he’ll preside over a ruling party conference next month.

Mugabe’s decision not to end his 37 years in power came in the face of a threat by his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front earlier in the day to remove him if he failed to step down. Mugabe deviated from his agreed-upon speech and impeachment proceedings will begin on Monday, according to three senior party officials who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to comment.

Delivering a nationally televised address with the armed forces commanders who took power last week looking on, Mugabe, who is the world’s oldest serving leader at 93, frequently lost his place and had to repeat parts of the address.

Earlier Sunday, Zanu-PF central committee decided to fire him as its leader and ordered him to step down. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who Mugabe sacked as vice president this month, will be reinstated, take over as interim president and be Zanu-PF’s presidential candidate in elections next year, the party said.

The ruling party’s decision to dump Mugabe came four days after the military placed him under house arrest and detained several of his closest allies, a move triggered by his dismissal of Mnangagwa, 75. Seeing the likelihood of Mugabe’s ouster, joyous crowds turned out in Harare and Bulawayo Zimbabwe’s second-largest city on Saturday to celebrate.

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