ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT Robert Gabriel Mugabe reportedly offered to step down a long time ago in a deal that would see  Vice Presdent Emmerson Mnangagwa being the man in charge while Mugabe would  take a minor ceremonial role in the new arrangement.

In his book The Struggle Continues, former Education Minister David Coltart claims that Mugabe genuinely tried to leave office and promote Mnangagwa to the top job in 2002 but was stopped by his Zanu PF Party members who were uneasy with the proposition for Mnangagwa taking over the reigns.

This happened soon after the disputed 2002 Presidential Elections.

According to Coltart, Zanu Pf leaders were shaken by the situation after elections and they met MDC representatives in South Africa to discuss a political deal.

This was out-rightly rejected by MDC as the later wanted fresh elections which stalled the talks as Zanu PF did not want any elections.

“Zanu PF were not keen on fresh elections, but were willing to compromise.

Zanu PF did not want another election and they wanted Mugabe to remain on as ceremonial leader, with Mnangagwa taking on the role of Prime Minister. Mnangagwa would adopt a more pragmatic approach to a range of issues, including that of commercial farmers,” he wrote.

A source who refused to be named told reporters these moves by Mnangagwa later compromised his prospects in Zanu PF. It is the very reason why Joice Mujuru then took over as Vice President instead of Mnangagwa. Right now, his supporters have their backs on the wall as they are being decimated from all directions by another faction in a fierce battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe.