ROBERT Mugabe has reportedly agreed to resign as the president of Zimbabwe after striking a deal with generals that will give him and wife Grace full immunity.
The 93-year-old leader will also be allowed to keep his private properties in return for a peaceful transition of power and his resignation letter has already been drafted, a senior source told CNN.
Mr Mugabe has already been stripped of the leadership of ruling party Zanu-PF, which had demanded he steps down by 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT) today or face impeachment.
The deadline has now passed and Zanu-PF officials have branded Mugabe a “source of instability” in a draft impeachment motion.
The party, who sacked Mugabe as leader yesterday, has accused him of showing disrespect for the rule of law and blamed him for an “unprecedented economic tailspin” over the past 15 years.
Zanu-PF spokesman Simon Moyo said Mr Magabe had been notified of his removal as party president and a motion calling for his impeachment will be tabled on Tuesday.
Although many expected Mr Mugabe to announce his resignation last night, it has now been reported that Zanu-PF decided he would not step down in front of the military generals and instead his speech was designed to show the military intervention was not a coup.
Following the army’s intervention last week in response to Mugabe’s sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, it has become clear that Mugabe’s 37-year tenure as the Zimbabwean president will shortly come to an end amid widespread demands for his resignation.
It had been feared that Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife Grace would succeed her husband as leader but this is an unpopular prospect for millions of Zimbabweans.
Mrs Mugabe is currently being held by the military leaders who took control of Zimbabwe from her husband, officials claim.
A military official said: “She was a bad influence on Mugabe while he was in power, and was a bad influence on him when we tried to negotiate a deal with him to stand down.”
It had been reported that she had fled to Namibia or was still living with the President but now it appears that she was seized by the military in the early stages of the coup.
Mr Mnangagwa is now expected to take over as leader in the coming days.
Mugabe had been expected to announce his resignation in a televised speech last night, but instead told viewers he would continue to preside over his party at a congress next month.
In a rambling 30-minute address, Mugabe insisted he was going nowhere in an announcement that stunned people across the world.
Meanwhile, the leader of Zimbabwe’s war veterans, Chris Mutsvangwa, said he would initiate court action to legalise the military action against Mugabe after the army seized power on Wednesday.