How priest helped convince Mugabe his time was up

03 December 2017 - 00:00
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa with former president Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa with former president Robert Mugabe.
Image: Reuters

Hours after the military coup began in Zimbabwe last month, Robert Mugabe spoke to his former deputy president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, on the phone, pleading with him to return from South Africa so they could jointly manage a handover of power.

The Sunday Times can today reveal exclusive details of Mugabe’s final hours in power. The man in the middle of the intense behind-the-scenes talks negotiations that resulted in Mugabe’s resignation and Mnangagwa being sworn in as president, Catholic priest Father Fidelis Mukonori, this week described how he had enabled the back-channel talks between the two leaders.

The talks began hours after Zimbabwe Defence Force generals seized temporary control of the country.

In the phone call, Mnangagwa, who had been fired as vice-president the week before, confided to Mugabe that he had fled Zimbabwe in fear of being murdered in a plot that would appear to be a suicide.

Read the full story in the Sunday Times.


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