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Mugabe strikes secret 'gentleman's agreement' to hand Zimbabwe power to ally

Harare, Sun, 08 Apr 2012 ANI

Harare, Apr 8 (ANI): Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly signed a secret 'gentleman's agreement' to hand over power to his Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, according to sources close to the two men.

Sources claimed that Mugabe, 88 and now in office for three decades, will stand as Zanu PF's candidate in elections one last time before handing over to Mnangagwa, the former head of Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organisation.

In the clearest sign yet that he is being groomed for the top job, Mnangagwa, 65, was recently send to Tehran where he met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a key anti-Western ally, The Telegraph reports.

Mnangagwa, nicknamed 'The Crocodile' for his ruthless reputation, was appointed campaign manager by Mugabe during the 2008 presidential election.

According to a long-serving Zanu PF minister, Mugabe offered Mnangagwa the future presidency if he could help ensure that things went Mugabe's way in the second round.

Another source close to senior defence chiefs revealed that 'Mnangagwa was told that he had to deliver victory for Mugabe by whatever means or he would go down with the old man. After that, the two are glued together so tightly unless Mnangagwa commits a cardinal sin, he is assured of the succession.'

According to the paper, other sources claimed that there are still considerable hurdles, most notably the feisty Joice Mujuru, Zimbabwe's vice-president who is known to be favoured by Zanu-PF moderates as Mugabe's successor for her friendly relationship with Tsvangirai. (ANI)

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