Zimbabwe's ex-vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa has confirmed that his former boss President Robert Mugabe has made contact with him and invited him to return back home to discuss the current political situation in the country.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mnangagwa who was fired from his government position on November 6 by Mugabe, maintained that he would not return home until he was satisfied that his personal security was guaranteed.
"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. Given the events that followed my dismissal on Monday 6th November 2017 at 16:00, my security details assigned to me and at my residency were immediately withdrawn," Mnangagwa wrote in his statement.
Mugabe’s former deputy said that this was "contrary to all the protocols that have existed in Zimbabwe [in respect of] former state vice presidents of the Republic of Zimbabwe".
Mnangagwa said that soon after his dismissal, he was warned by security personnel "who are friendly to me" that plans "were underfoot to eliminate me once arrested .... It was in my security interest to leave the country immediately".
Mnangagwa’s statement came after the country's army chief Constantino Chiwenga said that progress had been made in talks towards an apparent deal over Mugabe's exit.
Chiwenga also said that Mugabe was in touch with Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa's ouster triggered the military takeover and Mugabe's loss of power.
"The security services are encouraged by new developments which include contact between the president and the former vice president... who is expected in the country shortly," Chiwenga said.
"Thereafter the nation will be advised of the outcome of talks between the two."
Chiwenga called for calm after Zimbabweans had celebrated on Saturday at huge anti-Mugabe marches that would have been brutally repressed just a week ago.