Robert Mugabe’s delay in meeting his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa to resolve their differences is to the former president’s own detriment, a presidential spokesperson says.
Mugabe is understood to have left Zimbabwe at the weekend for a medical check-up in Singapore, pushing back any prospect of a meeting to ease tensions between the two former allies.
“He (Mugabe) is the one with issues to raise with his successor, which means the delayed contact is to his detriment,” Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba told the Daily News.
Charamba, who was Mugabe’s spokesperson while the former president was in power, said his ex-boss was connected to the G40 faction of Zanu-PF that had been angling to take over from Mugabe.
But G40’s ascent was foiled by the November military takeover that forced Mugabe to resign.
Charamba said Mugabe now “needs a strategy and solution to contain the meddlesome G40”. The faction is alleged to be backing a new political party, the National Patriotic Front.
Church groups under the banner of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches Council are understood to be backing efforts to bring Mugabe and Mnangagwa together.
A church source close to the initiative told the paper: “All Zimbabweans are concerned by the tension between our former leader and the country’s new president, and as an important constituency in our nation we are saying that we need to do something quickly to end his unnecessary tension.”
Last month Mugabe told journalists in his first press conference since stepping down that Mnangagwa’s ascent to power was an “illegality”. He said he was willing to discuss with Mnangagwa how to “undo this disgrace” but insisted he would need to “be properly invited for that discussion”.
“Currently I’m isolated,” Mugabe said at the time.