Zimbabwe's ruling party is set to begin impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday as government ministers boycotted the meeting in preparation for his removal.
The impeachment was prompted after the embattled president ignored the midday resignation ultimatum on Monday.
Lovemore Matuke, ruling party chief whip, said ministers were told to ignore Mugabe’s request for a cabinet meeting at the president’s official residence on Monday and to instead attend a meeting at party headquarters to work on the impeachment.
Mugabe lost the confidence of the ruling party and was removed as its leader. The party will hold its congress next month, where party officials are expected to ratify Mugabe’s firing, expel his wife, and name Emmerson Mnangagwa, the recently fired vice president, as Mugabe’s successor.
Mnangagwa said in a statement Tuesday that the president should acknowledge the country’s “insatiable desire” for a change in leadership and resign immediately.
"The people of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice and it is my appeal to President Mugabe that he should take heed of this clarion call and resign forthwith so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy,” he said.
The former vice president said he will not return to Zimbabwe to meet Mugabe until his personal security is guaranteed, out of fears over possible assignation plots.
"Given the events that followed my dismissal I cannot trust my life in President Mugabe's hands,” he said.
The statement also said he “will not stand in the way” of the impeachment proceedings.
The process of impeachment is expected to begin on Tuesday when parliament resumes its work. Mugabe is accused of allowing his wife, Grace Mugabe, to “usurp constitutional power,” according to the BBC.
It is believed that the proceedings will take several days.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.