In an interview with the Financial Times, President Mnangagwa went into more detail about the poisoning alleged to be at the behest of former First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Shortly after a rally Mnangagwa was rushed to hospital. He had, he says, been poisoned. "They kept me going by washing me out . . . " Apparently he had 28 sachets attached to one arm at one stage.
"The doctors say it [the poison] was hard-metal arsenic toxin . . . They say it's colourless, it's tasteless and the areas where it could be found are possibly two. Russia and Israel. They were surprised I survived."
His supporters pointed the finger at Grace Mugabe, saying he was the victim of a poisoned vanilla ice cream cone. She was also linked to the incident by innuendo because she and her husband co-own one of Zimbabwe's biggest dairies.
Asked about who poisoned him, Mnangagwa said. "I suspect who did it . . . They are still good friends of mine . . . They now know that I know."
Some weeks later he received an official letter from Mugabe firing him. That evening, "officials from security services came and said: ‘Sir, we are part of a group charged with the task to eliminate you. So you must leave now.'
"I said: 'Where?' They said: 'Just leave because we are going to pick you tonight and we will poison you, we will kill you, then put a string around your neck and say you hanged yourself.'"
He fled across the Mozambican border on foot with two of his sons and ended up in South Africa. He was there, in close contact with President Jacob Zuma, an old friend from the liberation struggle, when the army played the pivotal role intervening to stop the G40 takeover of the party and to bring down the curtain on Mugabe's rule.
The G40 faction has been subjected to the full fury of the new order. Members have been arrested and had assets seized, others have fled into exile and are regularly denounced in the state press.
The opposition has long urged a crackdown on corruption but they have a caveat about this move: to date no one in the army – long a player in the predations of the economy – nor in the Lacoste group has been targeted.
– Financial Times