11 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Mugabe, ED Rift Escalates

Photo: Xinhua
Emmerson Mnangagwa and Robert Mugabe (file photo).

Former president Robert Mugabe has told his associates that he will not negotiate with his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, because he is unhappy about the way he was toppled, it was revealed yesterday.

Former Cabinet minister Ambrose Mutinhiri, who last week met Mugabe after dumping Zanu PF and giving up his Marondera West parliamentary seat, told The Standard in an exclusive interview that he does not see the once bosom buddies smoking the peace pipe.

Mutinhiri is leading a Zanu PF splinter party that has received an endorsement from Mugabe, much to the chagrin of Mnangagwa.

"You know what, when this issue came up at my meeting with president Mugabe last Sunday, he was emphatic and unequivocal about his position. Let me recall what he told me about this," the former Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister said. Qouting Mugabe speaking about Mnangagwa's alleged overtures, Mutinhiri said the 94-year-old politician charged that "ED thinks I am an idiot.

"How does he think I believe their claim that they are about upholding the legacy of the president, my legacy, when I'm down because of them and when they have been dragging me in the mud?

"People, especially in Zanu PF, want honest holders of the legacy of the president and they condemn hypocrisy, they condemn military brutality against the people."

He went on to say: "ED says he wants me to endorse him, what will I be endorsing? Hypocrisy? Brutality against the people?

"The killing and battering of children (CIO and police officers) who worked with me? No, no, no; I'm not an idiot.

"The political and illegal arrests must stop if the military regime is true to its claims that it is about upholding the legacy of the president. Why is it doing these injustices?"

Mutinhiri also claimed Mugabe and his wife are not members of the National Patriotic Front (NPF), a party formed by former Zanu PF members not happy about the long-time ruler's ouster.

He claimed exiled Zanu PF members that were linked to the G40 faction such as Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwao were not NPF members.

Mugabe was pushed out of power by the military in November last year and was replaced by Mnangagwa.

The former Zanu PF leader had fired his then deputy a few days before the dramatic military takeover.

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