A prominent Catholic priest has met former president Robert Mugabe amid efforts to ease the tension between Zimbabwe’s former ruler and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, The Standard has learnt.
Mugabe, who was ousted by the military last November, went public last month accusing Mnangagwa’s government of harassing his family.
He also charged that his successor was an illegitimate leader following the military role in his ascendancy.
According to impeccable sources, Father Fidelis Mukonoroi and Kadoma businessman Jimayi Muduvuri met the 94-year-old former Zanu PF leader at his Blue Roof mansion in Harare recently.
Mukonori, who was one of the negotiators when Mugabe was put under house arrest by the military in November, confirmed the meeting in an interview last week, but said he could not elaborate.
“Yes, we saw VaMugabe, but I am in church. I can’t talk to you. Today we are busy,” he said.
Muduvuri refused to comment saying he would speak at the “appropriate time.”
Sources said Mugabe told Mukonori he was being harassed and that his legacy was being threatened.
Mugabe said some of his family members were now afraid to be associated with him fearing reprisals.
“He lamented that for all the years he had worked with Mnangagwa, how he helped him rise politically, this is how he is treating him,” the source said.
“He is worried that his private investments are being targeted, his family is under the spotlight and his political legacy is now being destroyed by people who do not understand history,” the source said.
A government source said Mnangagwa was eager to reconnect with Mugabe.
“[Former] president Mugabe cannot be ignored, but Mnangagwa does not want to be seen as if he is begging his former boss for reconciliation,” the source said.
“He wants his boss to just wish him well as the election period starts.”
Sources said soon after Mugabe’s ouster, the former ruler had open lines of communication with former generals now in government, but they were cut after complaints of tribalism.
The former generals were allegedly accused of trying to kowtow to Mugabe to advance a tribal agenda.
Sources said Mnangagwa was now under pressure to make peace with Mugabe after African leaders raised concern over issues the veteran politician raised during his recent interviews.
– The Standard