President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is reported to have tasked Roman Catholic Priest Father Fidelis Mukonori to mediate and negotiate with former president Robert Mugabe after the pair’s relationship soured in recent weeks.
Father Mukonori is famous for being one of the negotiators who mediated between Mugabe and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces generals last year, following the military takeover, which resulted in the fall of Mugabe. Mukonori will be working together with Jimayi Muduvuri, the patron of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches Council.
Mugabe and Mnangagwa’s relationship which goes back more than 50 years appears to have soured after the former president claimed that he was not receiving his constitutional benefits and that his family was being harassed.
He also opened to international media, claiming that his former lieutenant had seized power in a military coup with the help of former Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and current vice president General Constantino Chiwenga. In one of his interviews, Mugabe indicated that he was willing to work with Mnangagwa again saying,
I don’t hate Emmerson. I brought him into government. I would want to work with him. But he must be proper, he is improper where he is. He is illegal.
Mnangagwa, on the other hand, is unhappy with Mugabe’s decision to venture into opposition politics by endorsing the new political party, the National Patriotic Front (NPF).
When asked to comment on the issue both Father Mukonori and Muduvuri declined. However, according to the Daily News, Father Mukonori met with Mugabe, former first lady Grace Mugabe together with Grace’s sister and her husband Walter Chidhakwa, the former minister of mines last Friday.
A source who was at the meeting said,
He was concerned by the presence of soldiers in Cabinet and he said they have no business there and must go back to the barracks. When he was asked if he was part if the National Patriotic Front, he said people now take advantage of him because of old age but he will never leave Zanu-PF.
At that same meeting, Grace also said that she had nothing to hide and that she was ready to defend herself in a court of law, over allegations of ivory smuggling.
More: Daily News