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Mbeki: UK wanted Mugabe out by military force

27 November 2013, 15:56

Cape Town – Former South African president Thabo Mbeki has made startling revelations about how the British government was determined to depose Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe using military force.

Speaking during an interview with Al Jazeera, Mbeki said South Africa was under pressure from the UK to participate in a regime change scheme to depose Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party, a move which Pretoria refuted. 

Mbeki helped broker a now defunct power sharing agreement between the Movement for Democratic Change and Zanu-PF following a disputed election in 2008 which left at least 200 people dead.

"There is a retired chief of the British armed forces [Lord Charles Guthrie]... he had to withstand pressure from the then prime minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair... Tony Blair who was saying to the chief of the British armed forces you must work out a military plan so that we can physically remove Robert Mugabe," said Mbeki.

"We knew that because we had come under the same pressure that we need to co-operate in some scheme. It was a regime change scheme, even to the point of using military force and we were saying no."

Mbeki criticised the manner in which Britain wanted to take the responsibility of choosing a leader for the people of Zimbabwe.

".... You are coming from London you say you don’t like Robert Mugabe for whatever reason, people in London don’t like him... we are going to remove him then you are going to put someone else in his place. Why does it become a British responsibility to decide who leads Zimbabwe?", he said.

- News24


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