Crunch Talks Loom On Mugabe's Future

| Updated Nov 19, 2017 at 3:34am


Library file.


Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is to meet the army chief amid intense pressure for him to step down.

Mediation will be led by a Catholic priest, state TV said. Mr Mugabe has largely been confined to his house since the army took over on Wednesday.

The governing Zanu-PF party is also meeting to discuss whether to dismiss their founder and long-term leader.

The army intervened after Mr. Mugabe, 93, fired his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mr. Mnangagwa's dismissal made Mr. Mugabe's wife Grace front runner to become next president. He is likely to be reinstated as vice-president when Zanu-PF convene.

Mr. Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets on Saturday to celebrate the army's takeover and to urge Mr. Mugabe to quit.

They tore pictures of Mr. Mugabe and marched to his office and residence.

The military says it will advise the public on the outcome of talks "as soon as possible".

Nine of 10 Zanu-PF party chapters say Mr. Mugabe should step down and their decision is likely to be endorsed at Sunday's meeting of the party's top body, the central committee.

On Friday, Mr. Mugabe made his first public appearance since being put under house arrest, speaking at a university.

Grace Mugabe was not present.

It had been thought she had left the country but it emerged last Thursday that she was at home with Mr. Mugabe.