President Robert Mugabe has agreed to step down as president of Zimbabwe after negotiations between his and military representatives.
The negotiations were held at state House after the military refused to meet with President Mugabe at his “Blue Roof” home in Borrowdale because it was his residence and not for official business. Roman Catholic Priest Father Fidelis Mukonori was one of the mediators.
The other mediators were South African Minister for Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the South African State Security Minister Bongani Bongo.
This comes after the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) seized power from Mugabe in the early hours of Wednesday. The military kept insisting that this is not a military takeover of government as it is only targeting the criminals around the president who had caused untold suffering to Zimbabweans because of their corruption.
Mugabe agreed to resign after his demands for safe passage for his family were granted by the military.
Earlier reports said that Mugabe had been insisting that the action taken by the military was illegal and that he was still the legitimate head of state. He wanted the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to admit that their conduct was illegal. Mugabe and his advisors are reported to have been insisting that he should finish his term as President
A source who spoke to Reuters earlier said:
It’s a sort of stand-off, a stalemate. They are insisting the president must finish his term.
The generals, on the other hand, would have none of it and wanted former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to be reinstated to his previous positions of Vice President of Zimbabwe and Second Secretary of Zanu-PF.
However, after his family’s safety was guaranteed, President Robert Mugabe agreed to step down to pave way for his ousted aide of more than 40 years Emmerson Mnangagwa.