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Mugabe now elder statesman in Zimbabwe —Negotiator

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Father Fidelis Mukonor mediated between Mugabe and the military before his resignation. Photo: 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.
Mr Mugabe, 93, resigned on Tuesday after a military intervention and days of mass protests.
Mr Mukonori said he could not confirm reports that he was granted a large cash sum to ease him out of office.
Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in to replace Mr Mugabe as president on Friday.

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Mr Mnangagwa, long a close ally of Mr 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 at a church outside the capital, Harare, after leading a service that included prayers giving thanks for the peaceful transfer of power.
He added that Mr Mugabe and his wife Grace remained at their house in Harare and had no plans to leave the country.
The military takeover was widely seen as a reaction to moves by Mr Mugabe to ensure that Grace succeeded him, including the sacking of Mr Mnangagwa from the vice-presidency.
Father Mukonori referred to what Mr 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.”
He said he could not confirm reports that the ex-president was granted millions of dollars and promised that his assets would not be touched to persuade him to step down.
“We didn’t offer him anything… He resigned for the good of Zimbabwe,” he said.
He added: “What I have read in the newspapers is about immunity [from prosecution], and that he will be looked after like any other former head of state.”
Mr Mugabe leaving power, he added, was the best thing he had ever done.

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