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Zimbabwe's ruling party to expel Mugabe, war vets head says

From Reuters - November 19, 2017

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwes ruling party will dismiss 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe as its leader on Sunday and kick him out, stripping its ruler for the last 37 years of one of his final vestiges of authority, the head of the liberation war veterans said.

Speaking to Reuters as he walked into an extraordinary meeting of ZANU-PFs central committee, Chris Mutsvangwa said Mugabe was running out of time to negotiate his departure and should leave the country while he could.

We are going all the way, Mutsvangwa said. Hes trying to bargain for a dignified exit.

Mutsvangwa, who has spearheaded a campaign over the last 18 months to remove the only leader Zimbabwe has known, said ZANU-PF would also dismiss Mugabes wife Grace as head of its Womens League and reinstate ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The former state security chief, known as The Crocodile is thought to be in line to head an interim post-Mugabe unity government that will focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilizing an economy in freefall.

State television said late on Friday that Mugabe, who has so far resisted pressure to quit, would meet military commanders who seized power in a de facto coup four days ago, along with a Catholic priest who has been mediating between the two sides.

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Harare, singing, dancing and hugging soldiers in an outpouring of elation at Mugabes expected overthrow.

His stunning downfall in just four days is likely to send shockwaves across Africa, where a number of entrenched strongmen, from Ugandas Yoweri Museveni to Democratic Republic of Congos Joseph Kabila, are facing mounting pressure to quit.

SUPPORT EVAPORATING

Men, women and children ran alongside the armored cars and troops who stepped in this week to oust the man who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980.

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