Powerful group claims that president pulled off manoeuvre to avoid standing down, amid reports he has drafted resignation letter

Zimbabwe’s powerful war veterans have claimed that Robert Mugabe swapped speeches to avoid resigning during a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, as they repeated their call for him to go.

The 93-year-old, sacked as leader of the ruling Zanu-PF party, had been given a noon deadline (1000 GMT) on Monday to resign as head of state or face impeachment when parliament reconvenes on Tuesday. There was no word on his fate as the deadline passed.

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