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Zimbabwe war vets plan anti-Mugabe rally, ruling party 'withdraws support'

Zimbabwe war vets plan anti-Mugabe rally, ruling party 'withdraws support'

Zimbabwe

Police in the Zimbabwean capital Harare have given the green light to a planned protest on Saturday calling for embattled president Robert Mugabe to resign.

The protest is called by the Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association, ZNWVA, under the theme “Solidarity with Zimbabwe Army Intervention and Call for Mugabe to Resign.” It is due to take place at the Zimbabwe grounds.

At a press conference on Friday, leader of the ZNWVA, Chris Mutsvanga, said there was no going back with the need for Mugabe to leave after 37 years in charge of the southern African country.

We have indicated that we want their support tomorrow. We have declared as war veterans, that is the message, there is no going back, he must leave.

“There is no going back about Mugabe, period. And that’s what we are saying, that’s why we are bringing all the population of Zimbabwe. We have indicated that we want their support tomorrow. We have declared as war veterans, that is the message, there is no going back, he must leave.”

Meanwhile a representative of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, in the United Kingdom has disclosed that all provinces of the party had asked that Mugabe be recalled as party leader. That former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa should replace Mugabe in acting capacity and that Grace Mugabe be stripped off her post as head of the Women’s League of the party.

“All 10 Zanu PF Provinces have resolved to direct Central Committee to recall the President and ask him to stand down as party leader. Vice President Mnangagwa be restored and assume leadership of the party in an acting capacity until Congress. Thank you Comrades,” Nick Mangwana said in a tweet.

The army who the war vets are marching in solidarity with had asked Mugabe to halt purge of party people allied to ex vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mugabe fired Mnangagwa for alleged disloyalty in a move that was seen as paving the way for First Lady Grace Mugabe to be appointed.

The army on Wednesday announced taking over reigns of the country and placing Mugabe under house arrest. Between then and Friday, there has been talks between Mugabe, the army and negotiators impressing on him to step down but that has so far not yielded positive results.

Mugabe, despite being under arrest, was allowed by the army to attend a graduation ceremony in the capital. It is reported that Mugabe is asking to be allowed to stay in charge till December when the ruling ZANU-PF goes to congress to elect new leaders.

Mugabe has been head of the country both as Prime Minister and President for a combined duration of 37 years. He assumed power in 1980 and had been chosen by his party to contest in elections due in 2018.

The ZNWVA is an organisation established by former combatants of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army and Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army who served during the Rhodesian Bush War.

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