Mnangagwa’s office ignores Mugabe’s request for dialogue

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has responded briefly to his predecessor Robert Mugabe’s call for dialogue, saying the nation has moved on.

On Thursday, Mugabe spoke in public for the first time since his ousting in November last year.

In an exclusive interview with the SABC, Mugabe described his removal as a coup and said he does not recognise the legitimacy of the current President.

He, however, said he is open to talks with Mnangagwa.

A statement from Mnangagwa’s office issued on Friday ignores Mugabe’s request.

The short statement notes Mugabe’s comments, but says that Zimbabwe as a nation has moved on from the days of the former President’s rule.  It says government’s focus now is ensuring that the national elections scheduled for later this year will be free and fair.

The statement further says that the current leadership has an immense task of lifting the effects of years of economic regression and international isolation. There is an assurance, however, that government continues to honour its obligations towards Mugabe in terms of welfare and benefits.

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