Robert Mugabe 'set to be sacked' by his Zanu-PF party - sources

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF is meeting this morning to approve the dismissal of Robert Mugabe as its leader, according to sources within the party.

An extraordinary meeting of Zanu-PF's central committee will decide the fate of the 93-year-old President, four days after an apparent military coup.

Zanu-PF is also preparing to remove his wife Grace Mugabe as head of the women's league - with ousted Emmerson Mnangagwa set to be reinstated as vice president of the party, according to Reuters.

Mr Mugabe is also expected to hold talks today with the country's military commanders, according to state broadcaster ZTV.

Meanwhile, the United States said it was looking forward to a "new era" in Zimbabwe, while President Ian Khama of Botswana said Mr Mugabe had no diplomatic support in the region and should resign at once.

:: Rally was 'truly spine-tingling'

Earlier, Mr Mugabe's nephew struck a defiant tone, insisting his uncle and his wife Grace were "ready to die for what is correct" and that the embattled President had no intention of stepping down.

Speaking from a secret location in South Africa, Mr Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, told Reuters that his uncle had hardly slept since the military seized power on Wednesday.

He added that Mr Mugabe's health was "good" but he would not legitimise the "coup" that overthrew him.

It comes as thousands of people marched on the streets of Harare and Bulawayo demanding Mr Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, resign.

Supported by the military, crowds sang, danced and hugged soldiers as they marched towards his official State House residence.

Mr Mugabe has been under house arrest in his lavish 'Blue Roof' compound in the wealthy Harare suburb of Borrowdale since the military seized control.

Victor Matemadanda, secretary-general of Zimbabwe's War Veterans Association, called on protesters to march on the compound.

He said: "Let us now go and deliver the message that grandfather Mugabe and his typist-cum-wife should go home."

Hundreds of Zimbabwean nationals in the UK also gathered outside the country's embassy in central London calling for the leader to step aside.

Mr Mugabe has reportedly been trying to buy time for his leadership during negotiations with military officials.

Reuters reports that his departure would likely pave the way for an interim unity government led by Mr Mnangagwa, a former security chief known as 'The Crocodile'.

Documents seen by the news agency say stabilising the Zimbabwe economy will be the number one priority.

Whether or not Mr Mugabe is fired, opposition party MDC-T appears set to finally get its wish of impeaching him now his own party has turned.

Innocent Gonese, of the MDC-T party, said: "If Mugabe is not gone by Tuesday, then as sure as the sun rises from the east, impeachment process will kick in."

During Mr Mugabe's 37 years in power, at least three million Zimbabweans have emigrated in the face of economic mismanagement and hyperinflation.

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