FORMER President Cde Robert Mugabe has effectively endorsed opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, while denouncing the ruling Zanu PF party in a development that would not have pleased his successor.
The 94-year-old made his dramatic intervention in this election at his Blue Roof private Harare residence on Sunday.
In a wide-ranging and often rambling address to dozens of local and international journalists, Mugabe vented his bitterness with erstwhile colleagues over his indecent ouster from power last November.
Now reduced to an ordinary member of a party he “founded”, Mugabe said was being subjected to dreadful treatment by his former lieutenants.
Asked who he would vote for, the veteran leader was every clear that it would not be his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“I cannot for Zanu PF, I can’t vote for a party or those in power who are the people who brought me into this state, I can’t,” he said.
“I cannot vote for those who tormented me… I will make my choice among the other 22 (presidential candidates).”
Mugabe said among the rest of the presidential contenders he knew former deputy Joice Mujuru and former deputy prime minister Thokozani Khupe, having worked with them before.
However, the two’s prospects were not very encouraging while MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa had drawn huge rallies across the country during his campaign.
“I have said these two women do not seem to offer much so there’s Chamisa left,” said Mugabe while making it clear that he had not met the 40-year-old opposition leader as claimed by the state media.
He however, said he would want to meet Chamisa if he wins the elections.
On his ouster last November, Mugabe reiterated that the military operation which culminated in his resignation was a coup.
“Our (regional) neighbours were fooled into believing that it was not a coup de tat, nonsense!” he said.
The military took to the streets, telling the nation that they were rounding up criminals around Mugabe who were exploiting his advanced age to cause political and economic mayhem in the country.
According to the Generals behind the operation, the military intervention as aimed at protecting Mugabe and securing his legacy.
Not in my name, said the 94-year-old on Sunday.
“If the coup was to protect me how come I’m treated now as an opponent, an opponent of those in government?” he asked.