Robert Mugabe 'assured protection' as part of resignation deal

23 November 2017, 09:33

Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has reportedly been "assured protection" as part of a deal over his resignation.

The 93-year-old has been assured he will be protected in his home country and sources close to the negotiations have told Reuters that he has "no plans" to go into exile and wants to die in Zimbabwe.

Mr Mugage - who stands to be replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa - is also said to have been excused from prosecution as part of a deal over his resignation on Tuesday.

"It was very emotional for him and he was forceful about it," said the source.

"For him it was very important that he be guaranteed security to stay in the country. Although that will not stop him from travelling abroad when he wants to or has to."

Former vice president Mnangagwa is set to be sworn in on Friday and will become Zimbabwe's first new leader in almost four decades.

:: Mugabe resigns to allow 'smooth transfer'
:: What next for Zimbabwe's crippled economy?
:: Assassination attempts, power grabs and tyranny

Upon his return to Harare, Mr Mnangagwa - known as 'The Crocodile' - told supporters: "The people have spoken. The voice of the people is the voice of God.

"I pledge myself to be your servant. I appeal to all genuine patriotic Zimbabweans to come together. We work together. No-one is more important than the other - we are all Zimbabweans.

"We want to grow our economy. We want peace in our country. We want jobs, jobs, jobs in our country."

Mr Mnangagwa's dismissal on 6 October plunged the country into a political crisis and prompted military chiefs to take control of the capital and place Mr Mugabe under house arrest.

The 93-year-old initially refused to stand down, but tendered his resignation on Tuesday after impeachment proceedings were launched by the national parliament.

The UK's minister for Africa Rory Stewart, who is in Harare to meet political leaders, said: Zimbabweans suffered for too long as a result of Mugabe's ruinous rule."

He added: "What comes next must be driven by Zimbabweans - it must be in line with the Zimbabwean constitution and will be impossible without clear resolve from the incoming government."

Mr Mugabe had ruled Zimbabwe since 1980 and was, prior to his resignation, the world's oldest head of state.

Under his presidency, the southern African country's economy collapsed and unemployment rose to more than 90%.