President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described his predecessor Robert Mugabe’s claims that he was a Rhodesian spy as “rubbish and nonsense”.
On the eve of the July 30 elections, Mugabe told journalists that following his ouster in November last year, he no longer trusted Mnangagwa.
The long-time Zanu PF leader said he was suspicious of some of the activities Mnangagwa and Dan Stannard, the former Rhodesian head of security, got into in the early years of Zimbabwe’s independence.
“He said I was a Rhodesian spy? Old age is bad if his mind twists that way,” the president told South Africa’s Independent Online in a recently published interview.
“Why would he work with me for 54 years if I was a Rhodesian spy? Rubbish and nonsense this is.
“I trusted him to the end and it’s only now that I’ve learnt he doesn’t trust me. We shared the deepest issues together.”
At the time Mugabe told journalists that he would not vote for Mnangagwa and Zanu PF because they were tormenting him.
The new Zanu PF leader, who was a close ally of the former president until an ugly succession war last year, said he was no longer bothered by activities of the G40 faction.
G40 was a Zanu PF faction linked to former first lady Grace Mugabe and some of its key members such as former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo were forced into exile during the coup.
“I have never been a member of G40. I don’t know what they are planning or not planning. I hear from security that they continuously tweet. They continuously make statements,” Mnangagwa was quoted saying.
“. . .I am looking forward to the future. There is no reason for living in the past.
“We must all preach peace and unite our people even those who were antagonistic. We are Zimbabweans and come together.”
He confirmed that Mugabe would be forced to give up some of his farms so that he complies with the “one family, one farm policy”.
“It’s not a question of voluntarily giving up, but about complying with the policy,” Mnangagwa said.
“I am still receiving evidence of what the (former) first family had. When that process is complete, they will select one farm and the rest will be given elsewhere.
“We have the land commission, and this is one of the matters they are seized with.
“It’s not on the basis of the family, (one family, one farm policy). It is on the basis of government policy.
“There are so many others families who have more than one farm. It must all be governed by the size of the farm.”
Mnangagwa and Mugabe’s relationship deteriorated after the November 2017 coup, which saw the 94-year-old politician being put under house arrest at some point.
— The Standard