Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country "has moved on" after former president Robert Mugabe said he was ousted in a "coup d'etat". Picture: Xinhua/Shaun Jusa

Harare, Zimbabwe  - Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Friday that the country "has moved on" in response to claims by former president Robert Mugabe that he was ousted in an illegal "coup d'etat".

Mnangwa added in a short statement that 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 in November.

Read more: Robert Mugabe calls his removal a 'coup d'etat'

"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."

Also read: Zimbabwe doesn't deserve this disgrace, says Mugabe

Mnangagwa's brief response, posted on his official Twitter account and bearing the seal of the presidency, added that 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."