Robert Mugabe has described his departure from office in November as a ‘coup d’etat’ in his first TV interview since he was deposed.
Speaking to South Africa‘s state broadcaster he said: ‘I say it was a coup d’etat – some people have refused to call it a coup d’etat.
‘We must undo this disgrace we have imposed on ourselves.’
The deposed Zimbabwean president has given his first interview since leaving office
He told South African television his departure was a ‘disgrace’. Since leaving office he has largely stayed out of the public eye
Robert Mugabe (centre) pictured recently with Zimbabwean opposition leader Ambrose Mutinhiri (right)
‘It was truly a military takeover, there was no movement visible unless that movement was checked and allowed by the army,’ said Mugabe.
Mugabe was forced to quit when the military stepped in and ZANU-PF lawmakers launched impeachment proceedings against their once beloved leader.
In the interview he also said he never thought new President Emmerson Mnangagwa would turn against him and denounced Mnangagwa’s move to oust him last year as a coup.
Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as president at the presidential inauguration ceremony in the capital Harare
‘I never thought he whom I had nurtured and brought into government … that one day he would be the man who would turn against me,’ he said.
‘I don’t hate Emmerson, I brought him into government. But he must be proper, he is improper where he is.’
Since his dramatic reversal of fortune, he has largely appeared to stay out of public life.
The military moved against Mugabe, 94, after he sacked his then-deputy and heir-apparent Mnangwga apparently fearing the nonagenarian was grooming his wife Grace to succeed him as president.
The former first lady had cultivated her own factional support base within ZANU-PF known as ‘G-40’ that was seen as hostile to the security establishment.
Who is Robert Mugabe? Zimbabwe’s implacable tyrant
Robert Mugabe was ousted in November 2017 after a 30 year career as President of Zimbabwe.
Mugabe was instrumental in founding the Republic of Zimbabwe – but became known for his brutal policy and corrupt leadership.
His rule proved to be one of the most controversial of any world leader in the 20th or 21st century.
At 94 years of age when he was eventually replaced by a military coup he was by far the world’s oldest active national leader.
He was deposed by a military uprising but refused to resign from office for several days afterwards – prompting days of protests across Zimbabwe.
Eventually he was persuaded to resign and he was replaced in his position as President and leder of Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party by Emmerson Mnangagwa – known as ‘the crocodile’.