- Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe said he feels let down by neighbouring countries
- He said he holds the Southern African Development Community (SADAC) in general, and South Africa, in particular to blame for his being forced into retirement
- He said he had reached out to South Africa who sent a team of negotiators
Robert Mugabe says he feels betrayed. Especially by his closest neighbour, South Africa.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since he was ousted as president of Zimbabwe by the army of his country in November last year, he laid responsibility at the feet of the government of former president, Jacob Zuma, and his administration which failed to act in any way he felt would have been helpful to him while he was negotiating his exit from office.
Briefly.co.za gathers that the ex-president is of the opinion that the inaction by his neighbours set what he termed a "bad precedent."
Saying he felt betrayed he hinted that he did understand the conditions in some other neighbouring countries. "Besides South Africa‚ most of them did not have the capacity to intervene. South Africa could have done more‚ but it didn't. They set a bad precedent‚" Mugabe said.
When Mugabe and his family were under house arrest at his private residence during the military operation‚ he phoned then president Jacob Zuma. Zuma in turn later sent a team of negotiators led by the then ministers of Defence and Military Veterans‚ Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula‚ and State Security‚ Advocate Bongani Bongo.
While the military operation was ongoing in the country, former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa had fled to South Africa. He returned when Mugabe had been forced to resign, however, before returning home‚ he met with Zuma and his then deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.
He was later elevated to the office Mugabe had previously held and is the current president of Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa responded to Mugabe's comments by saying his former boss is free to do as he pleases since he resigned from office constitutionally.
"On 21 November 2017‚ former president Robert Mugabe tendered his resignation in terms of Section 96‚ subsection 1 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. He is entitled to express himself freely‚ as in the case of any private citizen‚" Mnangagwa said.
However, others in the country are less tolerant of Mugabe's utterances. "He can't deal with his new reality. A cruel old dictator seeking public sympathy. Not from me. Instead spare a thought for the many killed under his watch and the millions of dreams he destroyed," Tweeted prominent Zimbabwean media owner, Trevor Ncube.
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