Mugabe Will Play Elder Statesman Role in Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe will continue to have a role to play in Zimbabwean politics, the Jesuit priest who helped negotiate his resignation has told the BBC. Father Fidelis Mukonori said he would provide “advice” as an elder statesman, including to the new president. Mr Mugabe, 93, resigned on Tuesday after a military intervention and days of mass protests.

Former-Zimbabwe-President-Robert-Mugabe

Mr Mukonori said he could not confirm reports that the ex-leader was granted $10m (£7.5m) to ease him out of office. Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in to replace Mr Mugabe as president on Friday.

Mr Mnangagwa, long a close ally of Mr Mugabe, was sacked earlier this month, triggering the political crisis that eventually saw his boss’s downfall. Father Mukonori, 70, who is close to Robert Mugabe and acted as a mediator between him and the military, said the new president would go to his predecessor for political counsel.

The priest said that Mr Mugabe and his wife Grace remained at their house in Harare and had no plans to leave the country. “We didn’t offer him anything… He resigned for the good of Zimbabwe,” he said. He added: “What I have read in the newspapers is about immunity [from prosecution], and that he will be looked after like any other former head of state.”

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