Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe has missed the deadline set for his resignation this morning, after the military took over the government overnight on Sunday.
Mugabe took to state television to make a speech which many thought to be his resignation, although he instead emphasised acknowledgement of the issues within his country and vowed to work on them as President and commander-in-chief of the military who took control of his government.
The military have denied that their takeover is a coup and a representative made a speech on state-run television emphasising that Mugabe and his family are “safe and secure”.
ZBC.TV, the country’s state-run television channel, is currently on stand-by awaiting the leader’s resignation.
Robert Mugabe, who is currently the oldest world leader, is now 93 years old, and first became leader of Zimbabwe in 1980 after winning the first elections after the state became independent of Great Britain.
Mugabe was elected on a platform of tolerance, as he asked white people to remain in the country after the white majority rule was dismantled, and promoted racial reconciliation.
Mugabe championed Zimbabwe’s infrastructure, and invest large amounts of money into schools and roads. However, in 1992 his wife Sally Hayfron passed away due to kidney failure. Many Zimbabwean residents mark this as irreversibly changing their leader.
Four years later, Mugabe remarried to Grace Marufu. His new wife was nicknamed “Gucci Grace” after reportedly spending £1million in a single trip to Harrod’s. Many criticised the Mugabe family for making lavish purchases with their money whilst much of Zimbabwe was slowly starving.
In 2000, Mugabe began to seize farms owned by white people still in the country. Although he was expected to return these to local residents, he instead awarded them to his loyalist followers, who neglected them.
This move sent the country into hyperinflation as banks printed more money to combat the loss of profits from exports. The infamous “one hundred trillian dollar” notes at one point has a value of only forty US cents.
Mugabe blamed many of these problems on the West, as he believed that EU sanctions placed upon Zimbabwe were intentionally undermining to the country.
He famously clashed with Tony Blair, who condemned his regime. Mugabe believed that Blair was “interfering” with the sovereignty of Zimbabwe, which he claimed was “not permissible under international law.”
Zimbabwe is expected to announce Robert Mugabe’s resignation in the next few days, as negotiations continue between the government and Mugabe.