Former president Robert Mugabe has claimed that the people of Zimbabwe still wanted him as the president of Zimbabwe at a time when President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his military supporters wrestled power from him.
He said he spent nearly four decades in power because he "listened to the people" who wanted him to carry on ruling Zimbabwe.
"I always listened to the people. The people still wanted me," Mugabe had told Zimbabwe Independent at his Blue Roof Mansion in Harare.
Mugabe stepped down last November after the army took control of the country and just as parliament began the process to impeach him.
Incredulous Zimbabweans took to social media on Friday to criticise Mugabe over his claim that people still wanted him as president.
Wrote @CountEvans: "This old man dreams a lot. People from where? Stealing elections and victimising people are not actions of someone who is liked by the people."
Added @Breezy_Geek1: "So why didn't he listen to the people who marched demanding him to step down."
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Harare on November 18 in support of the military action, but Mugabe has since said the demonstrators were just supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Mugabe told the Independent the fact that he had outlived contemporaries like former vice presidents Joseph Msika and Simon Muzenda had influenced his decision to stay on in power. He said he told himself: "If I go, who would keep the party intact?"