Robert Mugabe’s face “glowed” with relief when he agreed to step down as Zimbabwe’s president last week under pressure from the military and his party after 37 years in power, the priest who mediated his resignation said.
Father Fidelis Mukonori, a Jesuit priest who is a close Mugabe friend, laughed off a report by the privately owned Standard newspaper that Mugabe cried and lamented the betrayal by close lieutenants when he agreed to resign.
“When he finished his signature his face just glowed, no weeping unless there were angels weeping somewhere,” Mukonori told Reuters after mass at the Chishawasha Catholic mission just outside the capital Harare.
“For me it was a sign that he was accepting that ‘ah this is done’, he is relieved, not that he is aggrieved but relieved.”
He said Mugabe realised it was the end of the road two days before he resigned, when he saw 60,000 Zimbabweans protesting and demanding he quit at the Harare grounds where he was inaugurated as prime minister in 1980.
Mugabe’s signed resignation letter was read out on Tuesday, as parliament heard a motion to impeach him.
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