HARARE, Zimbabwe - In an address on state television Sunday, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe defied expectations he would resign, Reuters reported. The 93-year-old, who has led the country since it gained independence in 1980 from Great Britain, pledged to preside over a ZANU-PF congress next month even though the ruling party had removed him as its leader hours earlier.
ZANU-PF had given Mugabe less than 24 hours to quit as head of state or face impeachment, Reuters reported.
During his address on state television, Mugabe acknowledged criticism against him from ZANU-PF, the military and the public, but did not speak about resigning, Reuters reported.
Earlier, Mugabe was replaced as party leader by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy he fired this month, Reuters reported.
“He has been expelled,” one of the delegates said. “Mnangagwa is our new leader.”
Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who had harbored ambitions of succeeding the 93-year-old leader, was also expelled from the party, Reuters reported.