PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed that predecessor Robert Mugabe appeared unaware that he had fired him from the ruling party and government just two weeks after the dramatic dismissal.
Mnangagwa made the revelation Thursday during a one-day trip to Mozambique as part of his ongoing diplomatic offensive to charm regional counterparts.
However, the suggestion Mugabe did not seem to remember firing his deputy, raises questions over the state of the 93-year-old veteran leader’s mind and who was making decisions on his behalf.
Loyalists had always claimed that he still had his wits about him despite often dozing off at meetings and tumbling over in public.
After his divisive wife was booed at a rally in Bulawayo on the 4th of November last year, a furious Mugabe threatened to fire Mnangagwa who was blamed for the incident.
A day later, Grace called a rally of apostolic churches in Harare where she demanded Mnangagwa’s dismissal. Her husband obliged the following day, dramatically sacking his long-term aid from Zanu PF and government.
Mnangagwa claims to have walked 30km through Mozambique escaping assassins, eventually seeking sanctuary in South Africa.
However, two weeks later the military revolted against Mugabe, and as negotiations to resolve the military coup continued a cleric friend of the then Zanu PF leader arranged a phone call with the exiled Mnangagwa.
It was during that phone call, Mugabe allegedly said he didn’t recall sacking Mnangagwa.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba also gave his own narration of events leading to Mugabe’s controversial resignation, explaining that after Mugabe read the letter exiled Mnangagwa wrote he regreted firing him.
Speaking exlusively to the local Daily News, Charamba said, “Before the intervention, ED writes to the president and I saw it, through structures of government. It read: ‘Comrade President, I thank you for saving my neck when I would have been executed by the Rhodesian government. Thank you for protecting me in jail and encouraging me to read to become a lawyer. Thank you for appointing me a personal assistant. I thank you for giving me positions of trust including security and other portfolios. But today my enemies have triumphed and I accept it’,” Charamba said.
“When I was shown that letter, I cried and said to the person who showed me, ‘has the president seen this letter, and he said I sent it to his office. I knew after reading it he will revise his decision on Emmerson.
“True to my prediction he was moved. What I know is that the president was working around a formula to reconnect and restore his position.
“And during the last hours, the president and Mnangagwa spoke through father Mukonori’s phone and the president said ‘Emmerson where are you?; And he replied, ‘Shefu I am in South Africa.’ ‘Why are you in South Africa? He replied: ‘I had to leave the country because elements in security close to me told me they wanted to eliminate me.’
– New Zimbabwe