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Mnangagwa Says Mugabe Tendered Resignation, Not Removed Violently By Zimbabwe Army

FILE: Army General Constantino Chiwenga smiles during the presidential inauguration ceremony in Harare, Zimbabwe, Nov. 24, 2017.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says former head of state and government Robert Mugabe, who was removed from power last November, tendered his resignation instead of being forced to step down by the army.

In a statement, Mnangagwa said the former president “tendered his resignation in terms of Section 96, Sub-section 1 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

“He is entitled to express himself freely, as is the case for any private citizen. The Zimbabwe government continues to honor all its obligations towards the former president’s welfare and benefits, as provided for under the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

Mnangagwa noted “the nation has moved on. Our focus as this time shall remain on preparing for free, fair and credible elections in 2018. This is a key step in the immense task at hand, which is to lift our people from the effects of years of severe economic regression and international isolation.”

Mugabe claims that he was violently removed from office by Mnangagwa, who was helped by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces five months ago to stage what the former president calls a coup.

The Southern African Development Community, African Union and various other political bodies have shied away from referring to the military intervention as a coup.

On Thursday, Mugabe insisted that the military and Mnangagwa used unconstitutional means to get rid of him.

He is demanding a restoration of order in the country.

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