HARARE – A picture of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe walking on red-carpet has caused a stir on social media amid reports the former dictator still hold himself as the legitimate President.
Mugabe was ousted by a popular “military coup” that forced his resignation and he has remained holed up at his mansion in Harare which is dubbed “Blue Roof”.
Mugabe recently denounced his former right-hand man’s ascent to president of Zimbabwe as “illegal” as he gave his first interviews since he was ousted in a soft coup last year.
“It was truly a military takeover. We must undo this disgrace,” Mr Mugabe said of his swift removal from power in November that saw Emmerson Mnangagwa installed in the first transfer of power in almost 40 years.
Mr Mugabe told reporters in the mansion he built in the plush Borrowdale suburb, in front of a wedding photo of himself and second wife, Grace, that Mr Mnangagwa was in power illegitimately following a “coup d’etat” in November.
Mr Mnangagwa, known as “The Crocodile” during Zimbabwe’s early years of independence, took the reigns last year after a power struggle with Mrs Mugabe.
He had been expelled from the country as Mrs Mugabe positioned herself to take over her husband’s legacy, but was spirited into the country with the backing of the military who put the Mugabes under house arrest in an almost bloodless takeover.
Mr Mugabe’s nearly 38 years in power transformed Rhodesia, which had a well-educated population and sophisticated agriculture, to one of the poorest countries in the world, unable to pay its foreign debt. It abandoned its own currency in 2008 after years of hyper inflation.