Mugabe will play elder statesman role in Zimbabwe, says mediator

By: 
BBC
Source: 
BBC

Robert Mugabe will continue to have a role to play in Zimbabwean politics, the Jesuit priest who helped negotiate his resignation has told the BBC.

Father Fidelis Mukonori said he would provide "advice" as an elder statesman, including to the new president.

Mugabe, 93, resigned on Tuesday after a military intervention and days of mass protests.

Mukonori said he could not confirm reports that the ex-leader was granted $10m to ease him out of office.

Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in to replace Mugabe as president on Friday.

Mnangagwa, long a close ally of Mugabe, was sacked earlier this month, triggering the political crisis that eventually saw his boss's downfall.

Father Mukonori, 70, who is close to Robert Mugabe and acted as a mediator between him and the military, said the new president would go to his predecessor for political counsel.

"In the African world, senior citizens are there for advice," he told the BBC's Richard Galpin at a church outside the capital, Harare, after leading a service that included prayers giving thanks for the peaceful transfer of power.

He referred to what Mnangagwa said about his predecessor at his inauguration.

"When he says 'he's my father, he's my leader, he's my mentor', you tell me he's going to stay off from his father, from his mentor, from his leader? I don't think so."

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