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Zimbabwe: Army General Announces Negotiations Between Mugabe And Mnangagwa

On Monday evening, army chief Constantino Chiwenga said that progress had been made in talks towards an apparent deal over Mugabe’s exit.

Chiwenga also said the president was in touch with Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ousted vice president whose sacking triggered the military takeover and Mugabe’s loss of power.

“The security services are encouraged by new developments which include contact between the president and the former vice president… who is expected in the country shortly,” Chiwenga said.

“Thereafter the nation will be advised of the outcome of talks between the two.”

Chiwenga called for calm after Zimbabweans had celebrated on Saturday at huge anti-Mugabe marches that would have been brutally repressed just a week ago.

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Their joy quickly turned to despair as Mugabe brushed aside the turmoil, blithely declaring on Sunday he would chair a top-level meeting of the party that had just disavowed him.

‘He’s lost his marbles’

Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, called Mugabe’s speech a “complete reversal of the people’s expectations”.

Chris Mutsvangwa, head of the influential war veterans’ association, called for larger protests than those staged at the weekend in an effort to dislodge Mugabe.

“He’s lost his marbles,” he added.

Though Mugabe has struggled with public speaking in recent years, the wily statesman appeared alert and attentive as he delivered his address.

“It might take days and weeks, but Mugabe is on his way out,” said Charles Muramba, a 46-year-old bus driver.

The crisis erupted on November 13 after a factional squabble over the presidential succession erupted into the open.

Mugabe’s wife Grace, 52, secured prime position to succeed him when Mnangagwa, who is close to the military leadership, was fired.

After Mnangagwa fled abroad, the army took over the country and placed Mugabe under house arrest.

The army insists it has not carried out a coup, but rather an operation to arrest allegedly corrupt supporters of the highly ambitious first lady.

On Sunday Zanu-PF dismissed Mugabe as its leader and demanded he resign as head of state, naming Mnangagwa as the new party chief.

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Written by How Africa

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