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General elections are due to take place either in July or August and will be the first, since independence in 1980, in which former President Robert Mugabe will not be participating.

Jonathan Moyo says the worldwide community, including the AU and the United Nations, was making a huge mistake if it legitimised a government that came to power via a coup.

"It is completely unsustainable for anyone to say Mugabe resigned voluntarily when we know the army took over all institutions of the state and confined him to his residence".

Grace Mugabe had had ambitions to succeed her 93-year-old husband-and just before the coup she had been about to be appointed the country's vice-president, following the sacking of Mnangagwa by her husband.

"This is a military government".

Former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo says he and his family escaped an attack by soldiers as they sheltered at the home of a colleague on the night of the military takeover in Zimbabwe. "There will be bloodshed". Moyo said he later slipped out of the country legally with the help of "angels".

While Reuters failed to obtain a comment from the Zimbabwean government, Mnangagwa's spokesman the day before fired back at Prof Moyo saying he is blinded by bitterness against Mnangagwa.

"So really this is a bitter, bitter defeated politician", Charamba said. "There should be no more hate speech and factionalism within the party", Moyo said. "I was there with my wife and children", Moyo said, adding that he has since fled to another country over fears for his safety.

Zhuwao - who was part of a faction loyal to former first lady Grace Mugabe - said that before Mugabe was pressured into resigning on November 24 groups that included women, youths and traditional leaders, as well as entrepreneurs, farmers and students had been joining forces within the ruling party.

Since his resignation Moyo and his close allies have escaped into exile, claiming to have escaped assassination attempts by the military.

Responding to Moyo's remarks on a local radio station, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said: "Moyo should come to Zimbabwe and clear his name in the courts of law and not on BBC HardTalk".

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