Zimbabwe's Mugabe granted immunity as part of resignation deal, sources say

Zimbabwe's Mugabe granted immunity as part of resignation deal, sources say
From CBC - November 23, 2017

As Zimbabwe on Thursday prepared to swear in a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, after 37 years, attention turned to the fate of Robert Mugabe and the wife who just days ago was poised to succeed him.

Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday as lawmakers began impeaching him, has not spoken publicly since his stunning speech on Sunday night defying calls from the military, ruling party and the people to step down.

Mugabe, 93,appeared to remain in the capital, Harare, with his wife Grace Mugabe, but it was not clear under what terms.

Sources close to the negotiations say he 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.

Mugabe wants to die in his home country andhas 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 countryalthough that will not stop him from travelling abroad when he wants to or has to."

A new photo circulating on social media, and said to havebeen taken this week, showed Mugabe and his wife sitting on a sofa with advisers standing behind them. A dejected-looking Grace Mugabe, who had been likely to replace Mnangagwa after his firing as vice-president earlier this month, looks off camera while Robert Mugabe's eyes are closed.

The photo could not immediately be verified.

Mnangagwa was set to be sworn in Friday morning at a 60,000-seat stadium after making a triumphant return to the country. He fled shortly after his firing, claiming threats to his life.

His speech to a cheering crowd Wednesday night outside ruling party headquarters promised "a new, unfolding democracy" and efforts to rebuild a shattered economy. But he also recited slogans from the ruling ZANU-PF party, declaring death to "enemies," that are unlikely to reassure the opposition.

Opposition expectschange

The opposition party MDC-T, which supported Mugabe's removal, said it had not been invited to the inauguration. Spokesman Obert Guru said the party was closely watching Mnangagwa's next moves, "particularly regarding the dismantling of all the oppressive pillars of repression."

U.S. sanctions

Elections in 2018

'The new president will come under significant pressure to perform miracles to prove his critics wrong.'
- Editorial in Zimbabwe's NewsDay newspaper


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