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Reported return of 94-year-old Robert Mugabe is a risky move


Reports that deposed former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe is plotting a political comeback have clearly rattled his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.


Former president Robert Mugabe

State media in Zimbabwe are reporting that former president Robert Mugabe is backing the National Patriotic Front (NPF), a breakaway party from the ruling Zanu-PF, in a bid to make a political comeback.

Reports that Mugabe is plotting a political comeback have clearly rattled his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Returning to the political fray would be a very risky move by the 94-year-old ex-leader, jeopardising his generous golden handshake at the very least. But some analysts believe such a bold political gambit by Mugabe could be a spoiler, contributing to a shock defeat for Mnangagwa in the general elections expected in July, even if Mugabe has no chance of returning to power himself.

Retired army brigadier and Zanu-PF MP Ambrose Mutinhiri, a veteran of the liberation struggle of the 1970s, resigned from the party and from Parliament a week ago, as a protest against the military coup which had ousted Mugabe in November. On Sunday Mutunhiri met Mugabe at his Harare home and then on Monday announced the launch of the NPF.



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