29/07/2018:Zimbabwe,Harare. Grace Mugabe with her husband, former president Robert Mugabe after held a press conference at his Blue Roof residence.746 Picture: Matthews Baloyi/AFrican News Agency (ANA)

Africa In The News

Mugabe, Grace warm up to Mnangagwa rule

HARARE, September 7 ‑ Relations seem to be thawing between Zimbabwe’s former leader Robert Mugabe and his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa, with the former calling for unity of purpose.

Mugabe on Thursday, said he accepted the election result, adding that the just-ended July 30 election had addressed constitutionality issues since the military coup last November, which catapulted Mnangagwa to power.

“Mnangagwa won. It’s now constitutional,” Mugabe said.

“It was an election and his victory cannot be disputed. We now leave behind us the transgressions of yesterday.”

He was addressing mourners at the funeral of his mother-in-law, Idah Marufu who died on August 31, at the Trauma Centre in Borrowdale, Harare.

Marufu was a resident at Mugabe’s Blue Roof mansion in the suburb.

The 94-year-old former leader said although he preferred former defence minister Sidney Sekeramayi, Zimbabwe was now in a new era and people must work together for the good of the country.

“Those who staged the coup knew that Sekeramayi was my preferred successor,” Mugabe said.

“But that is now in the past and everyone must dialogue and unite. We are now in a new era. Let us work together for our country.”

Mugabe called for tolerance, saying the opposition must be allowed to do it’s politics within the confines of the law.

His wife Grace, who was in Singapore when her mother passed on, thanked Mnangagwa for facilitating her travel back home.

“I want to thank (Mr) Mnangagwa for chartering a new plane to bring me home to mourn my mother. It was a beautiful plane, a brand new Gulf Stream from Qatar,” Grace said, adding that she felt comforted.

“(Mr) Mnangagwa comforted me. If it takes my mother’s death for us to have the friendship we once had, then let it be.”

Relations between the two — allies for more than five decades — became frosty following the November 2017 military coup, which left Mugabe bitter and calling for an immediate return to constitutionality.

A day before the July 30 elections, Mugabe told the media that he was not going vote for Mnangagwa because he had tormented him. (ANA)

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