Zimbabwe crisis: Mugabe exit plan stalls

In a week of high political drama, President Robert Mugabe has said he won’t be unconstitutionally stampeded out of power.

The 93-year-old Zimbabwean president who has ruled the country for 37 years since independence was under house arrest in Harare.

After the military takeover, delicate talks began between Mr Mugabe and the army.

Mr Mugabe has agreed he may step down as head of state when his current term of office expires mid-2018.

Since the military takeover Mr Mugabe made his first public appearance at an annual graduation ceremony in the capital.

The military said on Friday it was “engaging” with Mr Mugabe and would advise the public on the outcome of talks “as soon as possible”.

Mr Mugabe’s attendance at the graduation is an annual tradition but few expected to see him there.

He sang the national anthem with the crowd, opened the graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe’s Open University, where he is chancellor.

One of the people he conferred a degree upon was Marry Chiwenga, the wife of the general who detained him.

Neither the 93-year-old president’s wife, Grace Mugabe, nor Education Minister Jonathan Moyo were present. Mr Moyo is an ally of Mrs Mugabe. His house was reportedly raided by the military.

The army acted after Mr Mugabe sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week.

Mr Mnangagwa was seen as a potential successor and his sacking paved the way for Grace Mugabe.

Although the army is calling the shots, in public they still refer to Mugabe as “his excellency, the president”.

This is why he has been allowed to attend the graduation ceremony. This is to prove they have not staged a coup.

It shows they also have a genuine, deeply felt respect for him going back more than 40 years.

TNT News

Photo Credit: Press Service of the President of Russia

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