President Emmerson Mnangagwa had narrated how he escaped the clutches of people who wanted to eliminate him, including his tortuous journey through landmine territory in neighbouring Mozambique before landing in South Africa.
The Head of State and Government opened up when talking to The Herald on the previously unknown details of his “great escape” while addressing Zimbabweans resident in Angola yesterday. He also took the opportunity to announce that he no longer has traces of poison in his body after his doctors gave him a clean bill of health last week.
Chronicling how he escaped into Mozambique after he was warned of a plot to eliminate him, the President said he had to walk for long hours, in some cases taking precautions to avoid possible landmines.
He said there was an attempt by security details at the border in Mutare to shoot him, but that this was foiled by his sons.
“I was fired at 4pm and left the office and by 6.30 pm, one of the security guys came to inform me that he must be part of a group that had a mission to eliminate me,” he said.
“I didn’t think it was pleasurable to wait to be eliminated. I left within four hours of being fired for the Mozambican border. I arrived at the border and our side of the border stamped my passport, but before they could lift the boom for me to cross into Mozambique, it was closed. The message came that I was not allowed to leave Zimbabwe. I said in that case there was no need, I (will) go back. They said again I was not allowed to go back into Zimbabwe but I said ‘you can’t stop me’. What case have I committed? As I was walking away, they tried to fire (at me) but I have one young man, one of my twin sons, was there. He is an officer and was able to grab the weapon and I was not shot.”
The President went on: “Then you know for many years I operated in Mozambique in the department of security. I know the area and it’s infested with land mines. Those things are still there, you walk in-between strings to avoid landmines. I did (that) from about 9 pm until about 7.30 the next day. I arrived in Mozambique and we had a lift back to the border to have my passport stamped again on the Mozambican side. Then I phoned a colleague from South Africa that I was on my way to Beira. By the time we arrived in Beira, a small plane had arrived from South Africa to pick me up and I went to South Africa.”
He said he informed South African authorities that he was in their country through Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete.
“Mbete is a good friend of mine,” President Mnangagwa said.
“So she came to where I was hiding and she told President Jacob Zuma that I was there.”
On his health, he said: “You have heard about me being taken ill at a rally in Gwanda. I am not so clear as to at what stage I took the poison, but I took it. I was airlifted to South Africa and I recovered; that’s why I am here. I am aware that the poison content at the time was around 361 percent, but after six days it came down to about 11 percent. I am happy that last week I was declared (poison) free. It is now undetectable. So we are the same now in terms of poison content.”
The President outlined the processes and developments that happened in the country for him to become the Head of State and Government.
He also detailed how the G40 cabal used dirty tactics through the so-called Presidential Interface Rallies in an effort to eliminate him.
The Herald of Zimbabwe