ICYMI- Transcript of Mnangagwa’s 15-page interview with the Financial Times


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Q: Signed by the president?

A: By H.E. Former President. So I then left my office immediately; I went home. But when I arrived home within two hours or so some colleagues . . . Some officers from security services came and said, Sir, we are part of a group which is charged with the task to eliminate you. So you must leave now. To where? Said just leave, don’t know where you can go, but just leave. Because we are going to pick you tonight and we will poison you, we will kill you, then put a string around your neck and say you hanged yourself. That’s the end of story. But we felt you have not committed any crime, so leave. I said, look, I can never leave my country; you can go and do what you want to do. They pleaded, you must leave. Then they left. After they left I decided to leave. When they were saying so, my wife was there. Then I left. My two sons . . . Three. No. My elder son, twin sons. They said they will accompany me. I said OK, come with me to the border. So we drove over the night. We reached the border by the morning. We arrived at the border. This side of the border, Zimbabwe border, they clear us. Passport was cleared. But there’s a boom; they lift the boom for you to cross on the Mozambican side. They didn’t lift the boom; they said, no, no. You can’t go through; we have instructions that you should not go . . . You should not leave the country. Oh, OK. If I am not leaving the country then I go back. They said, no, you can’t go back into Zimbabwe. I said, oh, you’re crazy. What crime have I committed? I must just go back. So as I was walking back to my car this guy says, no, no, you can’t go . . . We must get . . . No, I’m not arrested; I have no crime. So I’m going back. You’ve stopped me from going to Mozambique so I’m leaving. Then they said, police, police, police!

Q: Did you think at one moment, why don’t I ring the president? This must be a terrible mistake. If I speak to him, it will be all right?

A: I knew he was not in control of himself. I was aware he was under the grasp of this group. Then I went to a friend’s house. In the evening around about eight o’clock I took off with one of my sons. We went through about 30km or so because we walked from about half past eight in the evening until 7:30 in the morning. We reached Mozambique. A friend sent a small plane and it picked me to South Africa. Once in South Africa, after about two days, there was a lot of speculation where I was. I was in Mozambique, I was in China . . . 

Q: For the record, did you go to China or not?

A: No, no, I was in South Africa . . . Then things began happening back home here. I think the first thing was the army making some statements here.

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(1260 VIEWS)

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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