Zimbabwe's ousted deputy president Emmerson Mnangagwa Tuesday asked President Robert Mugabe to respect public opinion and step down and said he would only return home when his security was assured.
"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 by the people of Zimbabwe to resign, so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy," Mnangagwa said in a statement.
Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe shortly being sacked by Mugabe early this month.
The crisis followed a factional squabble in the ruling ZANU-PF party over the 93-year-old Mugabe's successor.
Mnangagwa said he had rejected an invitation by Mugabe to return home to discuss the current political situation.
"I told the president that I would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired."
Mnangagwa was initially believed to be in South Africa.