Former president Robert Mugabe is reported to have offered ailing Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga to take over from him at the height of the coup that removed him from power and led to the ascendance of Emmerson Mnangagwa to the presidency in November 2017.
According to the Zimbabwe Independent, Mugabe made the revelations last year in March during an interview with the publication.
Mugabe revealed that hours after the military had taken over key institutions, he had offered Chiwenga, whom he believed was the backbone of the operation, to take over from him.
However, Chiwenga turned down the offer, fearing for his security, since such a move would be viewed betrayal and attract ire from military commanders.
Although Roman Catholic priest father Fidelis Mukonori was the mediator between the army and the Mugabe family during the power negotiations, Mugabe revealed that he sent former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono on the task to convince VP Chiwenga.
The publication reports that the reason why Mugabe was offering Chiwenga power was that he feared for his life after hearing the news of the planned 18 November march Blue roof residence, where a mob would be allowed to mete out instant justice on him Gadaffi-style.
Despite Mugabe’s long history with his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe was adamant that he did not want him Mnangagwa to take over and had openly stated that he preferred Defence minister, Sydney Sekeramai.
After the bitter fallout between Mnangagwa and Mugabe, the former president further showed his disapproval of Mnangagwa’s presidency when he endorsed opposition party, MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa for the July 2018 elections. iharare