Harare – Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking last week triggered the military takeover, has returned to the country, a senior aide told AFP on Friday.
“Yes, he is back,” said the aide, who declined to be named, adding that Mnangagwa, who is a potential successor to President Robert Mugabe, had returned on Thursday after nearly a week abroad.
In talks with the army chief on Thursday, Mugabe refused to resign, as sources suggested the veteran leader was “buying time” to negotiate his exit.
The talks in Harare came after soldiers put Mugabe under house arrest, took over state TV and blockaded main roads in a stunning turnaround for the president who has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1980.
Zimbabwe’s military chiefs said in statement Friday they had detained some “criminals” in Mugabe’s government after seizing power in the dispute over who would succeed the 93-year-old leader.
My wife Grace ‘is being harassed… she cries daily’, Mugabe tells AU
Harare – Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe says his wife is being harassed and cries daily, three months after he was forced to step down in the wake of a military takeover, a newspaper reported Friday.
Mugabe told the African Union’s Moussa Faki Mahamat during a courtesy call he made to the Mugabes’ Harare mansion this week that he doesn’t feel safe.
“They told you I was safe, but how can I be in this environment?,” Mugabe reportedly told Faki, who is chairperson of the AU commission.
“My wife is crying daily. They are persecuting her… What am I without my wife and family? We are not safe,” the Zimbabwe Independent quoted Mugabe as saying, citing “detailed notes” supplied by officials who attended the meeting.
Mugabe said his wife was being harassed over her PhD from the University of Zimbabwe. Last week UZ Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura was arrested for alleged abuse of office for awarding her the degree in 2014. Critics say her thesis is nowhere near PhD standard.
‘Ruling through guns’
Mugabe reportedly insisted to Faki the PhD was genuine: “I used to see her 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.”
According to the leaked notes, Mugabe told Faki that Mnangagwa’s appointment as president was illegal, and appealed to the AU to help restore democracy in the country.
“We want you to assist to restore normalcy and democracy in the country and stop this thing of ruling through guns,” he reportedly said.
UK to deport at least 2 500 ‘illegal’ Zimbabweans
Harare – Britain has reportedly announced its intention to deport at least 2 500 Zimbabweans living illegally in that country.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Lang, recently told Zimbabwean Deputy President Kembo Mohadi that her government intended to deport illegal Zimbabweans in that country.
The announcement came as Theresa May said that her government was “determined to reduce the number of immigrants coming into the country by thousands”.
In his response, Mohadi said that the southern African country had no problem taking back its nationals but it needed to check them to ensure they were truly Zimbabweans.
“… We said we want to vet them before they leave the UK. We want to know whether or not they are Zimbabweans or if they are not fugitives who had run away from justice,” Mohadi was quoted as saying.
Britain was Zimbabwe’s former colonial ruler.
Around 20 000 British citizens lived in Zimbabwe while at least 112 000 Zimbabweans lived in Britain, according to an AFP report.
Britain provided around $114m in aid to Zimbabwe every year.
Relations between the two countries went rocky under ex-president Robert Mugabe, particularly over the controversial land reform programme.
SOURCE NEWS 24