Former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, rejected an asylum proposal from neighbouring Zambia in the heat of the political crisis that led to his resignation on Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
Zambian leader Edgar Lungu is quoted by local media portal Zambia reports, as saying he had personally offered Mugabe, 93, shelter but the overture was rejected.
“I had talked to him [and said] that if the chips are down you can come here but he refused saying that his home was Zimbabwe and he will remain there.”
Lungu returned from Angola where regional political bloc, SADC, had met over the crisis. Presidents of Angola and South Africa cancelled a trip to Harare after Mugabe agreed to step down following pressure from the army, his party and ordinary Zimbabweans who flooded the streets.
The Zambian leader also tasked the Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) to return to the barracks now that Mugabe had stepped down so as to allow for the constitution to be the guiding law. Reports, however, indicate that army tanks had started withdrawing from their positions following news of Mugabe’s resignation.
Exiled president Emmerson Mnangagwa whose firing led to the army taking over on Wednesday returned to the country.
As new leader of the ruling ZANU-PF, he is expected to be sworn in as president to see out Mugabe’s tenure ahead of elections next year.