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Mugabe feels let down by SADC, particularly SA

Ousted Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe feels the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and South Africa in particular let him down when the army forced him into retirement in November last year. Speaking to journalists of international media houses in Harare on Thursday for the first time since his removal‚ Mugabe said a bad precedent had been set. “In a way I feel betrayed‚ but you also have to look at their [neighbouring countries’] conditions. Besides South Africa‚ most of them did not have the capacity to intervene. “South Africa could have done more‚ but it didn’t,” Mugabe said. When Mugabe was holed up at his private residence during the military operation‚ he spoke telephonically to then president Jacob Zuma, who later sent a team of negotiators led by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and then state security minister Bongani Bongo. At the time Emmerson Mnangagwa had fled to South Africa. He returned when Mugabe had been forced to resign.

But before returning home‚ Mnangagwa, subsequently named president, separately met Zuma and his then deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa. In response to the media interview, Mnangagwa said his former boss was free to do as he pleased, as in the case of any private citizen, since he had resigned from office constitutionally. The nation had moved on from the Mugabe era, he said, in response to Mugabe’s claims that he was ousted in an illegal coup d’etat. “I say it was a coup d’etat -some people have refused to call it a coup d’etat,” Mugabe told the SABC. “We must undo this disgrace which we have imposed on ourselves, we don’t deserve it . . . Zimbabwe doesn’t deserve it,” Mugabe said. Mnangagwa’s brief response, posted on his official Twitter account and bearing the seal of the presidency, said, “The nation has moved on. “Our focus at this time shall remain on preparing for free, fair and credible elections in 2018.” – TimesLIVE with additional reporting by AFP

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