Zimbabwe’s Mugabe granted immunity as part of resignation deal: sources – World


Zimbabwe’s former president, Robert Mugabe, was granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of a deal that led to his resignation, sources close to the negotiations say. 

Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for close to four decades. He stepped down on Tuesday after the army seized power and the ruling party turned against him.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice-president, is set to be sworn in as president on Friday.

Mugabe, who is 93, wants to die in his home country and has no plans to go into exile, the sources said.

“It was very emotional for him and he was forceful about it,” said the source, who is not authorized to speak on the details of the negotiated settlement.

“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,” the source said.

Opposition expects change

Mugabe’s rapid downfall was triggered by a battle to succeed him that pitted Mnangagwa against Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe.

Zimbabwe’s main opposition said Thursday it wanted incoming president Mnangagwa to dismantle all pillars of repression that helped sustain Mugabe’s 37 years in power.

In its first official comments since Mugabe resigned, the MDC said it was cautiously optimistic that a Mnangagwa presidency would not “mimic and replicate the evil, corrupt, decadent and incompetent Mugabe regime.”

U.S. sanctions

Mnangagwa remains under U.S. sanctions for his activities as Mugabe’s deputy and enforcer.

The sanctions relate to acts “to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions” and “acts of violence and other human rights abuses against political opponents,” the U.S. says.

Mnangagwa was accused of leading a violent crackdown on opponents in the 2008 presidential election. The sanctions also target Mugabe, his wife and nearly 100 top government officials and associates, preventing them from travelling to the U.S. or having bank accounts in that country.

Mnangagwa has vowed a “new, unfolding democracy” in Zimbabwe after Mugabe’s resignation under military and ruling party pressure.

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