Robert Mugabe was dismissed as leader of Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party to encourage a peaceful end to his 37 years in power following a de facto military coup d’état.
The ousted President was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy he sacked this month, sources at a special ZANU-PF meeting to decide Mugabe’s fate leaked to reporters.
“Mugabe has been expelled,” one of the delegates said. “Mnangagwa is our new leader.”
Mugabe’s wife Grace, who had harbored ambitions of succeeding Mugabe, was also shared the fate of her husband, being expelled from the party.
Speaking before the meeting, war veterans’ leader Chris Mutsvangwa said the 93-year-old Mugabe was running out of time to negotiate his departure and should leave the country while he could.
“He’s trying to bargain for a dignified exit,” party sources indicate.
Mutsvangwa followed up with warning to renew the street protests if Mugabe refused to leave: “We will bring back the crowds and they will do their business.”