Ousted Zimbabwean vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa added his voice on Tuesday to those demanding 93-year-old President Mugabe resign, saying he needed to heed the “clarion call” of his people and step down.

Mnangagwa dined and wined with the grand old man for decades but now the lizard seems to have lost its tail and all its friends have deserted him.

Mnangagwa, who said he fled Zimbabwe because of a threat to his life after being purged from the ruling party, said he had been in contact with Mugabe and that he has been invited to return but would not do so until his personal security could be guaranteed.

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“I told the President that I would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired,” he said in a statement.

Zimbabwe’s top general said on Monday talks were planned between President Robert Mugabe and former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking by the 93-year-old leader two weeks ago triggered a coup.

General Constantino Chiwenga, head of the armed forces and leader of the takeover codenamed “Operation Restore Legacy”, told a media conference he was encouraged by contact between the two men and Mnangagwa would be back in the country soon.

“Thereafter, the nation will be advised on the outcome of talks between the two,” he said, reading from a statement.

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