Former president Robert Mugabe has accused his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of allegedly spying on him and sabotaging his business interests, in the latest sign of a widening rift between the one-time close associates.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE/TAtenda Chitagu
Mugabe poured his heart out to his friend President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who jetted into the country on Thursday to try and reconcile the 94-year-old politician with Mnangagwa.
The two met for three hours at Mugabe’s Blue Roof mansion in Harare where on Friday the former president also disclosed that he was increasingly feeling unsafe in Zimbabwe.
“The old man told president Nguema that ED’s administration was harassing his family and at some point he regretted the good things he had done for the current leaders,” a reliable source disclosed yesterday.
“He spoke of how he shaped Mnangagwa and (vice- president Constantino) Chiwenga’s careers by helping them against all odds.
“He narrated the source of the problems and what he thinks should be done to restore the relationship.
“He spoke of how the military and other spy agencies were busy spying on his family, those who work for him being subjected to questioning again and again and to some extent his freedom being curtailed.”
Even as he complained, Mugabe, the source said, showed willingness to engage Mnangagwa
He complained that the military was harassing his “people” and he was unsure of what would become of his family if he was to die “today”.
“The purpose of the meeting was for Nguema to get an understanding of how his friend was coping and if he had challenges.
“The old man did not hide his frustration with the ED regime and what he had hoped would happen.
“He said the regime was blaming every bad thing on him as if he was running the country alone.
“He said the current regime blames him for the economic crisis yet Mnangagwa and Chiwenga were his strong pillars who implemented most government programmes.”
After the outpouring of emotions, sources said Nguema offered Mugabe refuge if he felt he was not welcome in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe reportedly responded by saying “this is my home, I will die here. I will visit you as and when I want to but I will never abandon my people”.
“He was told that he should make amends with the current regime and stop working with the opposition as this was destroying his legacy.
“He was also told that Nguema would raise his complaints with Mnangagwa but most importantly, he must not fight them as this would affect his family interests.”
Nguema, the sources said, also narrated how he survived an attempted coup during the same time Mugabe was toppled.
He reportedly said: “you must be thankful my brother that these people left you alive and you are still at your home.”
“President Nguema said there seemed to be some capitalists who were funding illegal removal of sitting presidents for their benefit.”
During his 94th birthday celebrations in February, Mugabe complained that he was being mistreated by the new government and said he felt betrayed by Mnangagwa.
Nguema was in Zimbabwe on a two-day state visit, which saw him hold talks with Mnangagwa, but sources said the main reason he was in the country was to encourage Mugabe to make peace with the new administration.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa yesterday told a memorial service at his farm in Masvingo that he was a “god of peace” who came after a “god of war” in a subtle dig at Mugabe. He also said no one gave him a chance to get the presidency after he was fired by Mugabe last year.