Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa says country 'has moved on' from Mugabe era

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa says country 'has moved on' from Mugabe era

Interestingly, Mnangagwa was the leader of the Team Lacoste Zanu PF faction, which was fiercely opposed by the Generation 40 camp, led by his predecessor Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace, before he took over in November a year ago.

Emmerson Mnangagwa replied to Mugabe's comments on Friday saying the former president is entitled to express himself freely as is the case for every citizen, but the country has moved on.

"We must undo this disgrace which we have imposed on ourselves, we don't deserve it..."

Mugabe has resided in his Harare mansion with wife, Grace, since his fall from power. Known as "The Crocodile", Mnangagwa fought alongside Mugabe in the country's liberation war that ended with the proclamation of the Republic of Zimbabwe in 1980.

Mugabe said he was ousted in a "military takeover" and that Mnangagwa had assumed the presidency illegally. "And if it is to correct that illegality that he would want me to discuss with him, I'm willing".

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Presidential polls are due by the end of August in which Mnangagwa will face his first major electoral test.

"The situation has not changed since they removed Mugabe".

It was Mugabe's first public statement since his resignation in November which was triggered by a brief military takeover and the threat of a no-confidence motion tabled in parliament by his own ZANU-PF party. His ousting was the culmination of a power struggle between Mnangagwa and Grace Mugabe, who was being groomed by her husband as his potential successor. Evan Mawarire, a pastor who became the face of anti-Mugabe demonstrations previous year, tweeted that Mugabe "destroyed our lives".

"I never thought. [Mnangagwa] would be the man who turned against me", said Mugabe. Reflecting on his decades in power, which were marked by catastrophic economic policies, Mugabe remained adamant it had been a success story and any errors "weren't that bad".

However, when questioned about well documented human rights abuses throughout his tenure, Mugabe appeared more acknowledging of reality.

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