The world’s oldest leader said he has no plans to step down in his lavish birthday party.
Harare, Zimbabwe – Robert Mugabe has reportedly been granted immunity from prosecution as part of a deal that led to his resignation as Zimbabwe‘s president earlier this week, political and security sources say.
The agreement was struck with the 93-year-old former head of state because of his advanced age, and Mugabe has been assured he will be protected, the sources told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity on Thursday.
Mugabe stepped down as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday after 37 years in office. The resignation came just hours after the country’s parliament started an impeachment process against the long-standing leader.
So far, there has been no confirmation as to whether immunity was also extended to his wife, Grace Mugabe, who has faced corruption allegations in the past. The sources said some negotiators were unwilling to grant immunity to the former first lady.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), said without an official comment on the deal with Mugabe it was difficult to speculate on its details.
However, MDC-T national spokesperson Obert Gutu told Al Jazeera that making peace with the past was important to help the nation move forward.
“Let’s see what happens. It’s too early to say what this could all mean, but you can’t build a nation on retribution. If you build a nation on retribution then you are still stuck on yesterday.
“We as MDC are saying ‘let’s look forward and build the nation’,” said Gutu.
The opposition party said earlier on Thursday in a statement it hoped Mugabe’s replacement, Emmerson Mnangagwa, would do away with “the politics of thuggery, intolerance, thuggery, and corruption that were the hallmark of the collapsed Mugabe regime”.
Mnangagwa will be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s next president on Friday, becoming the country’s third leader since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.
Mnangagwa returned from South Africa two weeks after a military takeover that saw Mugabe placed under house arrest at his Blue Roof Residence in the capital Harare.
Mnangagwa ascended to the presidency after internal, factional battles over Mugabe’s succession pitted him against Mugabe’s wife Grace, and led to his dismissal as the country’s vice president earlier this month.
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