Zimbabwe - Mugabe's Exit Strategy On the High-Level Negotiation Table


Embattled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the military officers who toppled him from power early on Wednesday seemed to be locked in long and bitter negotiations about his future late on Thursday. By PETER FABRICIUS.

Conflicting reports about the talks in Zimbabwe swirled - first that the 93-year-old leader had agreed to step down from power, and then that he was digging in his heels.

Despite being under effective house arrest at the official residence, State House, the stubborn leader of Zimbabwe for the past 37 years was still battling to stay in power - or at least to leave on the more favourable terms.

At 22:30 on Thursday, after many hours of bargaining, Mugabe and the generals who seized power - almost certainly on the orders of sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagawa - were still locked in a stalemate, according to one official source close to the meeting.

South Africa's role in the negotiations could not be confirmed. Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Bongani Bongo were despatched to Zimbabwe on Wednesday by President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as SADC special envoys. Some reports said they were...

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