18/11/2017 09:44 SAST | Updated 18/11/2017 09:44 SAST

Botswana's President Ian Khama Has Told His Zimbabwean Counterpart Robert Mugabe To Step Down

'Mugabe no longer has regional backing, he must go,' says Botswana leader

Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe attends a university graduation ceremony in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Harare – Botswana's President Ian Khama has told his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe to step down as he no longer has any regional support to cling on to power, says a report.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, Khama said that the military intervention in the southern African country has also "presented an opportunity to put Zimbabwe to a path of peace and prosperity".

Said Khama: "I don't think anyone should be president for that amount of time. We are presidents, we are not monarchs. It's just common sense."

Khama's remarks came after Mugabe refused to step down despite mounting calls for him leave office.

The leaders of the 93-year-old's ruling Zanu-PF party took to state television in an apparently coordinated push to call for him to go.

"The province resolved unanimously to recall the president... from being the president of the party and the government," said Cornelius Mupereri, a spokesperson for the party's Midlands region.

Mupereri was one of several branch officials to appear on ZBC's nightly news to read almost identical statements calling on the liberation hero turned autocrat to resign.

Mugabe will face street protests on Saturday, organised by the country's by war veterans and supported by long-standing opponents of the president.

The dramatic intervention by the regional leaders of Mugabe's party caps a week of unprecedented turmoil in which generals seized power and put the veteran ruler under house arrest.