Hands off Mugabe‚ new Zimbabwean party warns

Robert and Grace Mugabe.
Robert and Grace Mugabe.
Image: Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Simphiwe Nkwali

Zimbabwe’s New Patriotic Front (NPF) says "unwarranted" attacks on former president Robert Mugabe by Zanu-PF are a threat to peace and stability.

Since inception last month‚ the NPF has been operating with faceless leaders – that was until a senior Zanu-PF official‚ retired brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri‚ met Mugabe at his private residence in Borrowdale‚ Harare.

On the day of the meeting with the former Zimbabwe leader‚ Mutinhiri came out of the closet as interim leader of the new outfit‚ which draws its support from within Zanu-PF.

Since then‚ a barrage of attacks have been directed at Mugabe who has come to be referred to as the “wannabe comeback kid".

"Some of these attacks‚ such as those regarding President Mugabe's legally protected personal banking‚ are in direct violation of banking laws and a violation of his constitutional right to privacy‚" a statement from the NPF issued on Tuesday read.

This followed after the state-run weekly newspaper Sunday Mail reported that during his 37-year tenure‚ Mugabe was paid in cash by the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ)‚ who sent a personal banker to deliver the money.

At a Zanu-PF rally last week‚ party youths declared they will lose respect for their former president at a time when government sources also revealed they were moving towards taking away 20 farms from the former head of state.

Mugabe's involvement in active politics from behind the scenes is an irritant for his successor‚ President Emmerson Mnangagwa‚ who has declared that if the involvement is proven beyond doubt he would take offence.

The NPF added that Zanu-PF caused "hell" for Mugabe when they joined forces with the military in November 2017 leading to his removal from office.

While Zanu-PF is worried about Mugabe‚ the MDC Alliance is of the view that he should be let free to exercise his constitutional right.

"It is fundamentally wrong‚" said Professor Welshman Ncube‚ adding that Mugabe has no political capital and if he needs to contest and lose an election he should go ahead.

Meanwhile‚ Mnangagwa's moratorium on externalised funds that was given a two-week reprieve ends on Monday. Government sources revealed that from next week Mnangagwa will name and shame “externalisers” and also move in to seize immovable asserts such as houses bought outside the country.

Mugabe's wife Grace owns real estate worth more than R85-million in South Africa alone.

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