Mugabe a 'broken soul' in final years after Zimbabwe ouster

Mugabe a 'broken soul' in final years after Zimbabwe ouster

11.9.2019

Mugabe a 'broken soul' in final years after Zimbabwe ouster

In his twilight years, Robert Mugabe became vulnerable and helpless, according to relatives, allies and analysts.

HARARE - Once feared for the all-encompassing power he wielded in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe died a"broken soul," bereft at his downfall, his allies and relatives say.

During these long decades, Mugabe was Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwe was Mugabe.

People close to him said the coup hit Mugabe very hard.

"A person who was used to waking up at 4 o'clock every morning, exercises, baths, goes to work and he has the whole country to look at, and suddenly that is abruptly brought to a halt - that is bound to affect."

The coup had been in the making for months but Mugabe was blind"to reality at that time," said Ibbo Mandaza, one of the intellectuals who served in Mugabe's government after independence.

Moyo, who spent time with Mugabe in the post-coup turbulence, said the once-feared autocrat dramatically changed.

After days of talks mediated by a Jesuit priest Fidelis Mukonori, Mugabe resigned. Close to Mugabe for decades, Mukonori mediated most conflicts of Zimbabwean politics, starting in the 1970s with talks between guerrillas and colonial ruler Britain that led to independence in 1980.

During one visit, Mukonori told Mugabe that he had put on weight.

The Catholic vicar general of the archdiocese of Harare, Kennedy Muguti, who used to go to Mugabe's house to celebrate mass, said the former leader was"disappointed and angry" at the ouster but kept his faith.

Sitting on a chair, propped up by cushions, a bitter Mugabe vowed not to vote for people in the ruling ZANU-PF party who had"tormented" him.

"There is a danger in overstaying in leadership," Chamisa said.

Read more: eNCA

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