The recently fired Zimbabwean vice-President and likely successor to President Robert Mugabe says the 93-year-old leader should resign immediately.
Emmerson Mnangagwa said in a statement on Tuesday, 21 November, that he is not in Zimbabwe and that he would not return to the country until he is "satisfied of my personal security."
Mugabe fired Mnangagwa earlier this month, but Zimbabwe's ruling party Zanu-PF is demanding that Mugabe resign and wants the former vice-President to replace him.
The ruling party is poised to begin impeachment proceedings against Mugabe on Tuesday (21 November) as Parliament resumes, and it has instructed government ministers to boycott a cabinet meeting Mugabe has called for Tuesday morning.
Ministers were told to instead attend a meeting at party headquarters to work on the impeachment.
Mnangagwa's dismissal sparked political turmoil in the country, starting with the army temporarily taking over the government to "target criminals" around Mugabe. The military, which insisted it did not carry out a coup, engaged in talks with the president in order to give him a "dignified exit".
Mugabe, who has been the leader of Zimbabwe since 1980, refused to stand down. In a televised speech on Sunday – in which people expected him to formally resign – he vowed to preside over next month's Zanu-PF congress.
The increasingly isolated leader was fired as the head of Zanu-PF and urged to resign by Monday morning, a deadline he missed.
Mugabe's wife, Grace, was also expelled from the party, where she retained a certain degree of power among the Zanu PF's G40 faction.
Mnangagwa was replaced as the party new leader and candidate for the 2018 general elections.