Speculation is growing over whether Robert Mugabe read out the wrong speech after he said in a televised address he would continue as a leader of Zimbabwe, despite the ultimatum issued to him by the country's military that he must resign or face impeachment.

Looking frail, the 93-year-old, who has presided over the country for 37 years, spoke on state television of the need for the country to "return to normalcy" in a rambling speech surrounded by generals.

Earlier, the ruling Zanu-PF party had given Mugabe until 10am on Monday (20 November) to resign.

But there was no hint by Mugabe that he would stand aside and said he would preside over his party's Congress in a few weeks, despite the face that he is no longer its leader.

He said that during the crisis in which tens of thousands of people took to the streets to oppose him and called for him to step down, the "the pillars of state remained functional".

He said that the country must "learn to forgive" and that developments within Zanu-PF are "understandable" but cannot be guided by "bitterness".

During the rambling speech in which he tripped over his words and was continuously shuffling through his notes, he said "Oh, that's a long speech".

The Guardian reported how commentators, who were expecting Mugabe to leave his post, are questioning whether he perhaps he had said: "Oh that's the wrong speech".

Others took to social media to question whether why what was expected to be a resignation speech, did not refer to his stepping down.

South African security adviser Bo Mbindwane wrote on Twitter "Mugabe just played the Army. He says he read a wrong speech. No resignation on read out". Meanwhile, BBC Newsday presenter Alan Kasujja wrote: "Did President Mugabe read the wrong speech?

Sky News' David Bowden described the address by Mugabe as "an extraordinary ramble by an old man who seems to have just blazed on through and has said we are going to have a congress in a few weeks time and I am going to preside over it".

The country's crisis was sparked after Mugabe sacked his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, which was seen as a move to install his wife, Grace, 52, as successor.

Military leaders said he must surrender power to block him from installing his wife into the post.

Chris Mutsvangwa, who has been leading a campaign to oust Mugabe, told Reuters that people would take to the streets of Harare on Wednesday (22 November).

People watch as Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addresses the nation on television, at a bar in Harare, Zimbabwe, on 19 November. Reuters