Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee should first summon President Emmerson Mnangagwa to answer questions before it summons him, arguing that anything he has to say is, at law, hearsay and of no value to the Committee's cause

Former President Robert Mugabe has told close friends and advisers that Temba Mliswa's Parliamentary Committee must first summon President Emmerson Mnangagwa to parliament before they even think of summoning him.

Mugabe has so far totally ignored the summons delivered to him twice. The tactic he has used is one of simply not acknowledging receipt of any of the summons delivered to him. His aides have also been told not to tell Mliswa anything.

In a stunning revelation of how government functioned in his last days, Mugabe insisted two nights ago (on Sunday night) that the actual running of government was under the current President, Emmerson Mnangagwa. And he is now claiming that it was President Mnangagwa who told him about the $15 billion.

"All the ministers reported to Emmerson. All government business was conducted at the New Government Complex (Mnangagwa's office when he was vice-president). The ministers brought their daily reports to Emmerson. They accounted to Emmerson. And then we would have summary discussions in cabinet or see presentations prepared beforehand by the minister responsible and Emmerson."

Mugabe, whose memory appears still to be quite sharp, also referred to the interview in which he made the claim, saying, "If one were to listen to that interview again, one would clearly hear me saying "we think".... That means collectively, as government. And they should ask Emmerson first what the minister in charge of mining said to him in the out-of-cabinet reports. He is the one who told me "we suspect we might have lost even US$15 billion" in Marange over the years."

The former President insists that talking to him would amount to "hearsay" because he was repeating what he was told. 

"I did not do the computations. Those boys should ask the people who did the computations. Why rely on the hearsay word of a 94 year old man. One whom they said has lost his mental and reasoning capacity and can no longer rule," Mugabe asked, referring to some of the charges raised against him in the impeachment document that was about to remove him from office, before he abruptly resigned.

"Ngavabvunze Emmerson, vanondinetseri ini zvangu. If $15 billion was indeed lost, Emmerson and the Minister at the time, plus also the Permanent Secretary and other officers in that ministry can provide that evidence. I am not an accountant."

Mugabe also dismissed the hearings as a "showboat" which will achieve "nothing". He is particularly contemptuous of what he says is the lack of understanding of the constitution by the parliamentary committee.  

"There is a provision of the constitution that says, whatever they might want to charge me with, I simply have to state that whatever I did and said was said and done in good faith and that will be the end of the matter. What then?"

"Ngavatange vapedzerana naObert uyuka uyu, handiti akavakuyisa dombo?"

The game plan is simply to continue ignoring summons and acting as though the summons were never seen.

It complicates matters somewhat that Mugabe is still protected by the army and armed guards. No one is able to hand deliver a summons to him at any point in time. 

And should Mliswa decide to charge him with contempt of parliament, what would be the next move? Send police to arrest the former president at his house? 

And if they are refused entry? Shoot it out with his guards?

I am sure you can see how this is just a whistle in a thunderstorm, this Mliswa crusade.


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