The former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has accused his successor of being a “hypocrite” and has refused to endorse him ahead of the general elections later this year.
The 94 year old former leader has maintained that he was “toppled” by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the rift between the two men continues to deepen.
Standard newspaper reported that Mugabe has vowed not to sit down and negotiate with Mnangagwa to find “common ground”.
Last week President Mnangagwa warned Robert Mugabe against having links with a new political party seeking to rival the ruling Zanu-PF.
Reports have been rife over the past weeks about the formation of a new political group called the National Patriotic Front (NPF) ahead of general elections this year.
The new party is being led by former Zimbabwe cabinet minister and ally of Mugabe, Ambrose Murinhiri with the pair seen together in photographs.
President Mnangagwa told a Zanu-PF Youth League national assembly in Harare that he is “unhappy” with the latest developments and was “investigating” the matter.
But Mugabe whose 37-year rule came to an end in November last year following a military takeover which handed power to Mnangagwa is still bitter about the entire incident.
Mutinhiri who met Mugabe a few weeks ago before announcing he had formed the new political outfit is quoted by the Standard as saying that “smoking the peace pipe” between Mnangagwa and Mugabe cannot happen.
Mutinhiri reportedly cited Mugabe as saying: “ED (Mnangagwa) thinks I am an idiot.
“How does he think I believe their claim that they are about upholding the legacy of the president, my legacy, when I’m down because of them and when they have been dragging me in the mud?
“People, especially in Zanu-PF, want honest holders of the legacy of the president and they condemn hypocrisy, they condemn military brutality against the people.
“ED says he wants me to endorse him, what will I be endorsing? Hypocrisy? Brutality against the people?” Mugabe is reported to have said.