Harare – Zimbabwean former leader Robert Mugabe, 94, has reportedly expressed his bitterness over the “way he was toppled”, saying he is not ready for talks with his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mugabe said this as the rift between him and Mnangagwa was said to be “escalating”.
According to the privately-owned Standard newspaper, Mugabe vowed that he would never negotiate with Mnangagwa to find “common ground”.
The nonagenarian was in the news recently, with reports saying that he was backing a new party called the National Patriotic Front (NPF) led by former cabinet minister Ambrose Mutinhiri.
Mutinhiri, a veteran of the 1970s war against white minority rule, met Mugabe a few weeks ago before announcing he had formed the new political outfit.
The Standard quoted Mutinhiri over the weekend as saying it that he did not see Mugabe and Mnangagwa “smoking the peace pipe” together.
Mutinhiri reportedly cited Mugabe as saying: “ED (Mnangagwa) thinks I am an idiot.
“How does he think I believe their claim that they are about upholding the legacy of the president, my legacy, when I’m down because of them and when they have been dragging me in the mud?
“People, especially in Zanu-PF, want honest holders of the legacy of the president and they condemn hypocrisy, they condemn military brutality against the people.
“ED says he wants me to endorse him, what will I be endorsing? Hypocrisy? Brutality against the people?
This came as the privately-owned Daily newspaper said over the weekend that a former minister in Mugabe’s government had persuaded the veteran politician to meet with Mnangagwa in a bid to settle issues.
The deal, the report said, involved bringing Mugabe as a ruling party “elder” to back Mnangagwa.
“The deal involves Mugabe settling into the rhythm of private life as a hero of the revolution and father of his country, and embracing the Mnangagwa administration and coming to terms with it as well as giving it stability and direction when asked,” the report said.