CAPE TOWN - Robert Mugabe is reportedly pleading poverty, claiming that he had to declare all his assets outside the country.
This comes after the former Zimbabwe president was summoned to return funds that were sent out of the country illegally. Current Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced an amnesty in November last year.
Mugabe claimed that following this call, he is left with only two properties, one in South Africa and one in Hong Kong.
Mugabe and his wife told reporters at their Harare mansion that they adhered to the amnesty, according to Times Live.
The former president claimed to have no money outside of the country, saying that he is an honest person.
However, according to Mnangagwa, only R3 billion was returned to Zimbabwe during the amnesty which is a far call compared to the R15.6 billion that was allegedly sent out of the country during Mugabe’s presidency. Meanwhile, individuals are wondering how Mugabe’s family could afford lavish clothing and luxury motor vehicles.
The 93 year old former president also claimed that he owns only one farm which he bought with his own money.
Mnangagwa said on Friday that Zimbabwe “has moved on” after Mugabe’s exit. In a statement, the president said he "noted recent remarks made to the media" by Mugabe who spoke to foreign journalists at a location in Harare on Thursday.
It was Mugabe’s first public statement since his resignation last year. "I say it was a coup d'etat -- some people have refused to call it a coup d'etat," Mugabe told South Africa's SABC broadcaster, referring to the brief army takeover which led to Mnangagwa assuming power after Mugabe's resignation."We must undo this disgrace which we have imposed on ourselves, we don't deserve it... Zimbabwe doesn't deserve it."
Mnangagwa responded on his official Twitter account, saying: Mugabe "is entitled to express himself freely, as is the case for any private citizen"."The nation has moved on. Our focus at this time shall remain on preparing for free, fair and credible elections in 2018."
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa said on Saturday that Zimbabwe is expected to hold its first parliamentary elections since Mugabe’s rule, in July. The polls will also be the first without Mugabe's name on the ballot since independence from Britain in 1980."As a nation, party and government, we are looking forward to very peaceful, transparent and harmonised elections in July this year," Mnangagwa told reporters after a meeting with South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday night.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE