A dismissal letter before him, his life under threat, and his world seemingly collapsing, Emmerson Mnangagwa still found the time and strength of character to write a final letter to Robert Mugabe.
It is a letter insiders say points to the kind of man Zimbabwe’s new President is – unwavering and loyal to the end.
Then President Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa as his deputy on November 6, 2017.
That set the stage for a momentous run of events that would see Mnangagwa leave the country to save his life, only to return a few weeks later to be sworn in as Head of State and Government after an extraordinary intervention by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to safeguard the national constitution.
But before he made good his escape from the assassin’s bullet – or poisoned needle in this case – Mnangagwa wrote a letter to Mugabe, thanking him for his counsel over the years and for giving him the opportunity to serve his nation.
The Sunday Mail last week secured a copy of that communication.
The letter was the subject of a conversation between Mnangagwa and Mugabe in the latter’s final hours as President of the Republic.
6 November 2017
His Excellency, R G Mugabe
President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces
RE: Acknowledgement of Receipt of Termination of Employment as Vice-President
I write, Your Excellency, to acknowledge receipt of my letter of termination of employment as your Vice-President with immediate effect in accordance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No 20 Act of 2013, Section 329, 6th Schedule, Paragraph 14, Sub-Paragraph (2).
Your Excellency, may I take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for guiding me from the time you rescued us from Egypt in 1963 to the present. Since then, I have regarded you as my mentor and father figure and have been loyal to you, the Party and the revolution.
I also wish to express my gratitude for the role you played in saving my life in 1965 when I was facing the death penalty, which was consequently commuted to ten years. I thank you for your constant refrain in encouraging us to study and never sit on our laurels.
I thank you, Your Excellency, for appointing me Special Assistant to the President at the time my father passed on. I mention these as milestones of how you have guided me and brought me up.
I also remember with pride your guidance during the armed struggle in Mozambique, when you nurtured and inculcated in me the lasting values of the sanctity of human life and a profound sense of natural justice.
It was through your guidance, that I was able to prevent summary executions and bring justice within the Zanla forces. I also wish to thank you for appointing me to lead the first Zanu group that came to Zimbabwe after the Lancaster House Conference.
At Independence, you appointed me Chairman of the Joint High Command and Minister of National Security after General Walls unceremoniously left the country following his confession that he and his fellow conspirators had planned a coup against us in 1980.
Thereafter, I served in various executive positions at your pleasure as well as various positions in the party. Your Excellency, the allegation that I once entertained an idea to form a political party is false and concocted by elements who are currently my enemies, who perhaps themselves may have intended to do so but never ever received any support from me.
Your Excellency, the truth is painful but everlasting. I am a child and cadre of the revolution, that is, both Zanla and our tried and tested Zanu-PF party. Throughout my 50-plus years in the Struggle, I have remained loyal and committed to you personally and to the revolution to this day.
In December 2014, you again had the honour to appoint me one of your Vice-Presidents. This to me is a demonstration of your deep-seated trust in me which I have never betrayed, even with my life. However, today, my enemies have prevailed. I could have recently lost my life through poisoning, but survived through God’s grace. Finally, Your Excellency, on behalf of my wife and family, I wish to thank you most sincerely for affording me the opportunity to serve you.
I shall forever remain loyal and committed to you, my party and the revolution, although I am aware of uncanny attempts by some unscrupulous elements to assassinate me.
Your Obedient Comrade
Hon E D Mnangagwa.
– Sunday News