Days after the Zimbabwean military staged a bloodless coup and placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest, the controversial 93 year old is reportedly refusing to resign. According to a report by CNN, an unnamed official with direct knowledge of the negotiations between Mugabe and the Zimbabwean military claims the president “[is] still refusing to step down” as of Saturday. The African nation’s army chief, Gen. Constantino Chiwenga, “is pushing for Mugabe to step down and an interim president to take over,” but the sitting president apparently refuses to comply.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports thousands of Zimbabweans have marched on the official State House in the nation’s capital, Harare, to protest Mugabe. Per CNN:
Waving placards with slogans like “Mugabe Must Rest Now” and “No to Mugabe Dynasty,” the atmosphere on the streets of the south African nation’s capital was electric, just days after the army put Mugabe under house arrest and detained some of his key political allies.
People waved Zimbabwean flags while others ran alongside army tanks and hugged soldiers to show their gratitude. CNN did not see any police at the protest, which was originally called by the country’s influential association of army veterans.
Although the location is technically the president’s official residence, Mugabe actually lives in a private mansion elsewhere. Even so, the ongoing negotiations between him, Chiwenga and others regarding the former’s potential resignation have been taking place at the Harare State House all week. The massive rally, as well as other protesters across the city, are reportedly planning to make their way toward’s Mugabe’s private residence known as the “Blue Roof.”