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Zim political crisis to drag on as Mugabe defies exit calls

On Sunday, Zanu-PF leaders announced a decision to sack Mugabe as party leader and gave him a deadline to resign by noon today or face impeachment.

FILE: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. Picture: AFP

HARARE - The political crisis is Zimbabwe looks set to drag on for at least another week with President Robert Mugabe ignoring calls for him to leave office while military veterans call for protests against his defiant stance.

The 93-year-old was widely expected to resign during a televised address on Sunday night but chose to focus on calls for unity.

On Sunday, Zanu-PF leaders announced a decision to sack Mugabe as party leader and gave him a deadline to resign by noon on Monday or face impeachment.

But the elderly statesman has shown no interest in quitting and is in fact preparing to preside over next month’s Zanu-PF congress.

WATCH: Mugabe sacked from Zanu-PF but no resignation

In his address, Mugabe said that the upcoming party congress will come up with a clear roadmap to solve once and for all any ommissions or contradictions that have negatively affected Zanu-PF.

"Indeed, all these matters will be discussed and settled at the forthcoming congress."

Mugabe has described the current state of the economy in Zimbabwe as going through a difficult patch.

But his party's Christopher Mutsvangwa believes otherwise, blaming the 93-year-old leader for the demise of the economy.

"He's thrown this country into a comatose state. We have an economy that has been utterly destroyed, worse than it has gone through a war because of the dereliction of duty. There is not an iota of understanding of how a modern economy works."

Zanu-PF has given Mugabe until midday on Monday to resign, failing which they will begin the process to impeach him.

Two sources, one a senior member of the government, the other familiar with talks with leaders of the military, had told Reuters that Mugabe would use the address to announce his resignation after Zanu-PF earlier sacked him as its leader in a step precipitated by an army takeover four days earlier.

But in the speech from his official residence, sitting alongside a row of generals, Mugabe acknowledged criticisms from Zanu-PF, the military and the public, but made no mention of his own position, instead pledging to preside over the Zanu-PF congress scheduled for next month.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)