FORMER President Robert Mugabe told visiting African Union (AU) chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat on Monday that he resigned on his own for the sake of “peace and development” following a military intervention in November last year.
Addressing journalists in Harare after a three-day working visit, Mahamat said his mission was to get first-hand information regarding the military’s role in Mugabe’s ouster.
“I met him (Mugabe), we exchanged views, and he also explained why he resigned. It was for peace and development of the country. And we appreciated that very much,” he said.
“This was the first time I was visiting the country. I could not go without meeting him. Since President Mugabe forms part of the heroes of who fought for the independence of Zimbabwe and the continent, he is a common heritage for us.”
But sources claimed that the veteran politician spilled the beans and told the AU envoy that he was pushed out by the military, which imposed Mnangagwa as his successor.
The AU has since endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s takeover as Mugabe’s successor.
Well-placed sources told NewsDay Mugabe disclosed to the AU envoy that he was forced to resign by the military that now controls the ruling Zanu PF and government structures. He reportedly said the process that removed him from power was a coup.
Mahamat reportedly visited Mugabe in the company of AU commissioner for political affairs, Minata Samate Cessouma, Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda and former Zimbabwe ambassador to Namibia, Chipo Zindoga.
Mahamat said Africa was satisfied that the transition was peaceful and “it is the responsibility of the AU to support and accompany countries in such situation in order to make sure that there is peace and stability in the country and all others have to respect the sovereignty of the country.”
“If there is any unconstitutional change of government, then we have our own instruments, we have rules that apply in the case. We are here to support the country in the transition and this transition has been publicly supported by the people of Zimbabwe,” Mahamat added.
Mpofu refused to comment, saying it was a foreign affairs issue.
Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo was unreachable for comment, as his mobile phone went unanswered.