President Mnangagwa with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Harare earlier this year.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has spoken to Vladmir Putin in South Africa who promised to alert American President Donald Trump of what the ZANU PF government considers unfair prejudging of the elections by elements in the American Senate, specifically.

We received this information earlier today.

Both Mnangagwa and Putin were in South Africa for the BRICS summit, together with the Chinese President.

The discussion with Putin was to discuss the various investments that Russia and Russian companies have committed to Zimbabwe, such as the Darwendale Platinum Group Minerals mining project. The Russians are also setting up a refining and smelting plant in the area. It was during the course of that discussion that President Putin asked about Mnangagwa's prospects in the coming election.

The Zimbabwean leader responded by telling Putin that all indications are that he, Mnangagwa, is going to win a free and fair contest. He did say to Putin that in any election, even in American & Britain, there are elements in all parties that will go outside the law and misbehave.

"But we believe we have shown our commitment to the rule of law by making sure the scattered incidents, whether by opposition supporters or by our own ZANU PF supporters, are quickly brought before the courts and dealt with without fear or favour."

The Russian President was particularly interested in how Western observers would judge the election. Mnangagwa indicated in response that he is unsure, but if the observers were being honest, they would admit that he had bent over backwards to run an "open, inclusive and credible campaign. We have left the Electoral Commission entirely alone because we did not want to interfere, even to back up some of the small issues that opposition were bringing up because we are the government. If we were seen interfering in any way at all, there would have been an outcry that ZEC listens to instructions from the ZANU PF government."

It was at this stage in the conversation, impeccable sources tell us, that Mnangagwa then told Putin that his information is that American Senators in the Foreign Relations Committee have already made up their minds they will not endorse the elections as free and fair or credible if Nelson Chamisa and the MDC do not win. "We know this and have been planning on this basis from day one," Mnangagwa told Putin.

He did, however, say that he thought the verdict from all the other observers, including SADC, African Union and the European Union would be "a fair verdict. Whatever shortcomings they point out will be valid ones that will need to be addressed seriously and properly by a new administration. The American verdict will simply be one to justify a pre-conceived judgement."

"We were pleasantly surprised," said our source, who was in the meeting, "when President Putin responded: 'I will also try and alert the American President to look objectively at the assessment of your election done by SADC, AU and other observers in order for him to make a properly informed decision after looking at all facts surrounding the election, not just what biased people in his country may have to say."

As the engagement ended, Putin is said to have joked to Mnangagwa that he hopes the Americans and Europeans "do not embrace you too quickly, so that we get consolidate all these investments we are looking to make in your country first. You can give them the scraps and leftovers afterwards!"

Mnangagwa is also said to be meeting with the Chinese President and the Turkish President, who wanted specifically tot talk about Turkish Airlines plans for Harare flights and to understand the challenges being faced in terms of repatriating airlines' funds out of Zimbabwe.


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