Zimbabwe’s ousted vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Tuesday that he was warned about a plan to “eliminate” him and was reluctant to return home until his safety was guaranteed.
In a statement he urged President Robert Mugabe to “take heed of this clarion call by the people of Zimbabwe to resign” so that the country could move forward.
Read his statement below‚ in full
My attention has been drawn to the Press Statement issued by the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantino Guveya Chiwenga. I can confirm that President Robert Gabriel Mugabe made contact with me and invited me to return home for a discussion on the current political events in the nation. I told the President that I would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired.
Given the events that followed my dismissal on Monday 6th November 2017 at 4.00pm, my security details assigned to me and at my residency were immediately withdrawn. This was contrary to all the protocols that have exited in Zimbabwe to former State Vice Presidents of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Security personnel, who are friendly to me, warned me that plans were underfoot to eliminate me once arrested and taken to a police station. It was in my security interest to leave the country immediately.
In my contact with President Mugabe, I told the President that the current political and constitutional crisis in the country is not a matter between him and myself but between the people of Zimbabwe and President Mugabe. The people of Zimbabwe have clearly spoken on this matter. To me the voice of the people is the voice of God and their lack of trust and confidence in the leadership of President Mugabe has been expressed. Several groups including students, general workers, opposition party members, vendors, religious organizations and ordinary citizens led by our war veterans, our party members in Zanu PF, civic society, and all races of colour and creed in Zimbabwe clearly demonstrated without violence their insatiable desire to have the resignation of His Excellency, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe. This was done on the following dates:
-The mass solidarity demonstrations led by the War Veterans on Saturday 18th November 2017,
-The fully legally constituted Special Session of the CC culminating in resolutions which were taken by the Session on Sunday 19th November 2017,
-and the resolution by the ZANU PF Parliamentary Caucus on Monday 20th November 2017 to institute impeachment proceedings against the President are testimony that the President has lost the trust and confidence of the people of Zimbabwe.
The people of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice and it is my appeal to President Mugabe that he should take heed of this clarion call by the people of Zimbabwe to resign so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy. The ZDF Intervention through the Motto code named “OPERATION RESTORE LEGACY” is aimed at preserving the ethos of our struggle against British Colonialism which was led by the late Dr J M N Nkomo, Cde Robert Mugabe and many others. This fight included a struggle for social and economic empowerment which is all but lost now due to reasons clearly stated in the Impeachment Call by Zanu Pf Members of Parliament. The legacy or our struggle to unite the land with the people and the people with their land championed by our war veterans and our people defended by the gallant fighters of the Defence Forces, Civil Servants, The Judiciary and our Government can be saved if His Excellency chooses to do the right thing.
His Excellency, Cde Robert Gabriel making such an admission common sense dictates that it should have been followed by an apology and immediate resignation to save the legacy of our struggle. As promised in my last communication I will be returning home as soon as the right conditions for security and stability prevail. I look forward to returning home soon and to join in the struggle for the economic revival of our country which is so endowed with Agriculture, Industrial and Commerce, and Mining Opportunities and with a rich human resource bedrock to support our endeavours. My desire is to join all Zimbabweans in a NEW ERA where corruption, incompetency, dereliction of duty and laziness, social and cultural decadency is not tolerated. In that new Zimbabwe, it is important for everyone to join hands so that we rebuild this nation to its full glory, this is not a job for Zanu PF alone but for all people of Zimbabwe.
In my conversation with the president, I told him that there are two options, that is (a) to cooperate in the current negotiations with comrades from the defence forces for a peaceful resolution of this crisis, which would result in the preservation of his legacy. (b) that if he continues to dig in, in defiance of the will of the people, he might suffer humiliation because definitely, the will of the people will prevail against one person. He requested me to come to State House, and I replied that I was out of the country and that he had already removed my status as the vice president of the country, as such I had no status, however, I can only come at the invitation of my colleagues in the party and of the defence forces, when they feel that my security is guaranteed.
I am aware that parliament intends to impeach the president. Parliament is the ultimate expression of the will of the people outside an election and in my view is expressing national sentiment by implementing the Impeachment Proceedings, therefore, talks between myself and the President cannot supercede the expression and fundamental rights of fellow Zimbabweans. I am aware that the nation at large has been protesting against the incumbent and I believe they have a right to protest in terms of our constitution. I am also aware that the party has passed resolutions in terms of the party constitution. They have a right to do so. I will not stand in the way of the people and my party. I will go along with the wishes of my party and general population.
In conclusion, the destiny of our country is in the hands of our people and His Excellency must heed the call of the people to resign.
God bless Zimbabwe.