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>> You could be mistaken for thinking there had been no military coup in Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe back in the public eye addressing a university graduation ceremony in Harare. His first such appearance since armored vehicles rolled into the capital on Wednesday.>> By virtue of the authority vested in me.
>> Still president but he may no longer be in charge past the weekend. Senior sources from the president's ZANU PF Party tell Reuters they're drafting a plan to dismiss the 93-year-old leader on Sunday. And if you refuses you'll be impeached two days later. The news comes a day after Mugabe was forced to go at meeting with army chief Constantino Chuwanga, the man behind the coup that could ultimately remove him from power.
The army wants Mugabe to go quietly, paving a way for a bloodless transition to Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice president Mugabe sacked last week, triggering a political crisis. One thing that's clear though, the grand old man of African politics won't go down without a fight. Insisting he's Zimbabwe's only legitimate leader even as the calls for a new era grow louder.
>> In the interest of the people of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert Mugabe must resign. Step down immediately in line with the national sentiment.>> And it's not only Zimbabweans who are calling for change. The US state departments top official for Africa says Washington wants to see the country enter a new era, implying it's time for Mugabe to step down.
If that were to happen it could be a shortening arm for a ravaged economy. Zimbabwe has long been under heavy US sanctions. But the US says lifting those sanctions could be an option if Mugabe shows it's serious about ushering in major political reform.