Thursday, 23 November 2017


Military authorities in Zimbabwe have agreed to grant the former president Robert Mugabe immunity from prosecution and told him his safety will be protected in his home country.

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 37 years, resigned on Tuesday hours after parliament launched proceedings to impeach him. He had refused to leave office during eight days of uncertainty that began with a military takeover.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice-president sacked by Mugabe earlier this month, is to be sworn in as president on Friday. A government source confirmed to Reuters that Mugabe had told negotiators he wanted to die in Zimbabwe and had no plans to live in exile.

“For him it was very important that he be guaranteed security to stay in the country ... although that will not stop him from travelling abroad when he wants to or has to,” the source said.

A second source said: “The outgoing president is obviously aware of the public hostility to his wife [Grace], the anger in some circles about the manner in which she conducted herself and approached Zanu-PF party politics.”

“In that regard, it became necessary to also assure him that his whole family, including the wife, would be safe and secure.”

“It was very emotional for him and he was forceful about it,” said the second source, who was not authorised to speak on the details of the negotiated settlement.

There is still much residual respect for Mugabe, and many in Harare say he should be allowed to “rest” rather than face charges or enforced exile.


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