Zimbabweans have been left angered and confused after President Robert Mugabe failed to resign, but instead delivered a cryptic speech.
They had gathered around televisions in anticipation of Mugabe's resignation, but instead were made to wait nearly two hours for his address on the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
"Indeed, the current criticism raised against me by the command element and some of its members has a reason for a well-founded perception that the party was stretching or even failing," Mugabe said.
Mugabe said open public spats between high ranking party officials made the criticisms levelled against him and the party inseparable.
During Mugabe's drawn out speech, people huddled around televisions, some were jeering his comments.
The embattled 93-year-old president instead rambled through an incoherent speech where he insisted he would still be presiding over the extraordinary congress scheduled for December.
"Zanu-PF is a party of traditions... that share ideals and values," he said.
Mugabe admitted the country had been going through a tough economic patch.
"Giving the failings of the past and the anger it might have triggered in some quarters, it is quite understandable," he said.
"We must learn to forgive and resolve contradictions," he said as people gathered in a local bar again jeered him.
Mugabe said the country couldn't be guided by bitterness and vengefulness, but instead Zimbabweans must learn to forgive and resolve their contradictions, whether real or perceived.
Without announcing his much-anticipated resignation, Mugabe ended his speech with a "Good night".
Those gathered around television sets were left stunned.
"I'm so angry. I thought we were gonna be here tonight celebrating. But instead he said nothing," said one man at a bar in Harare.
Another man, who only gave his name as Tawanda, described Mugabe's announcement as a "show of defiance".
"This guy thinks we are fools. All this was a show of defiance. He's a show guy," he said.
"We were all optimistic, that he'll resign. But that's all nonsense," he said.
"To be honest I didn't expect him to resign. I was hoping he would, but I didn't expect it would happen," Tawanda said.
He described Mugabe as "a wounded animal" and said he believed the president knew his time was up.
"He's a defiant bugger. But he's been defiant to the detriment of 15 million Zimbabweans tonight," he said.
Another man said he was "livid" by Mugabe's speech.
Earlier on Sunday, Zanu-PF held a special central committee meeting, where it was resolved that Mugabe had been recalled as party president.
The party announced Mugabe had until noon on Monday to resign, otherwise he would be impeached on Tuesday.
Read this report on News24Wire.com.
Mugabe's Non-Resignation Speech May Be Part of a Strategy
What the Ruling Zanu-PF Decided - Full Text
AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.
Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.
AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 600 news and information items daily from over 150 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Abuja, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC.