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Newspaper Report: Mugabe Fuming Over Military Intervention, Urges African Union to Intervene


FILE - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe meets with Father Fidelis Mukonori, Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and Defense Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga at State House in Harare, Nov. 19, 2017.

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe has reportedly told the African Union that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is unconstitutional and continues to harass his wife, Grace, who cries everyday due to state intimidation.

The privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent reports that detailed notes leaked to the newspaper of a meeting between Mugabe, his wife, government officials and African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at his Borrowdale mansion in the capital, Harare last Monday, indicate that the former president is bitter about his removal from office by Mnangagwa and the military.

He is quoted in the newspaper as saying the AU should help to “restore normalcy and democracy in Zimbabwe” as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces grabbed power and handed it over to Mnangagwa.

“To start with, the political and security situation in Zimbabwe has radically changed since November 15 last year; certainly not for the better, but for worse … It’s tragic and sad that in Zimbabwe since November 15 government and state institutions have been taken over by the military which is now part of the current unconstitutional administration. I was pressured by the army to resign; I did so in order to avoid conflict and bloodshed in my country. I was worried because it had been brought to my attention that people had been intimidated, illegally seized, attacked, homes had been raided at gunpoint and destroyed, and weapons confiscated from other state security agencies.

‘MNANGAGWA IN POWER ILLEGALLY…’

“The army had been unconstitutionally deployed without permission of the commander-in-chief and soldiers continue to be used in this operation. So from a constitutional point of view, he (Mnangagwa) is there unconstitutionally. Mnangagwa is in power illegally, yet some of his officials dare call me a dictator. What dictator? Maybe a dictator for dictating that we must take over our land and give it to the people; maybe a dictator for demanding that our people must be empowered. If that’s why they call me a dictator, I have no problem with that.

According to the newspaper, he quizzed Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu about his so-called dictatorial tendencies.

“The one sitting next to you (Mpofu) used to be my minister, but now I hear he had the temerity to call me a dictator … Am I a dictator, sir (Obert Mpofu)?”

The newspaper reports that a seemingly unsettled Mpofu, who once signed a letter he sent to Mugabe as the former president’s prodigal son, said he never viewed him as a dictator.

At the same time, Mugabe is said to have informed the AU commission chairperson that his wife is crying everyday as she is being harassed by government agents.

‘MY WIFE IS CRYING DAILY’

“… They told you (AU), I was safe, but how can I be in this environment? My wife is crying daily. They are persecuting her; that is obviously directed at me. What am I without my wife and family? We are not safe … Why are they harassing people? Some of them are overzealous. How do you arrest a whole university vice-chancellor (Levy Nyagura) over lies about a PhD? Some of these people are just idiots; they are ignoramuses.

“It wasn’t easy … I used to see her (Grace) here working hard day and night. I would assist her here and there, so how can someone wake up and claim she didn’t work for it? This is harassment.”

The Zimbabwe Independent noted that Mugabe stressed that there is no democracy in Zimbabwe and so it would be unlikely that the government will conduct free and fair elections.

‘RESTORE NORMALCY AND DEMOCRACY IN ZIMBABWE’

“I’m going to tell the truth; there is no more democracy anymore in Zimbabwe. How can it be there when the military is ruling? I’m saying this as Robert Mugabe and, of course, I am not afraid of anyone. I was imprisoned for 11 years by the Rhodesians so there is nothing to fear. “Please (Mahamat) don’t appease them (Mnangagwa government). Be honest and tell them the truth, guide them forward. We want you to assist to restore normalcy and democracy in the country and stop this thing of ruling through guns.”

He also demanded, without elaborating, that the government should give him his benefits.

Some of the people who attended the meeting included Mugabe’s wife, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs Minata Samate Cessouma, an AU interpreter, Home Affairs Minister and Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, chief secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda, Zimbabwe’s former ambassador to Namibia Chipo Zindoga, and a former diplomat in Angola now a senior official in the Foreign Affairs and International Trade ministry.

Mahamat also met with Mnangagwa, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo and Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and several state officials.

He was on a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe.

The African Union says there was no military coup in the southern African nation, which Mugabe had ruled with an iron fist for more than 37 years.

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