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Mnangagwa was widely believed to be the front-runner to succeed Mugabe after the December 2014 sacking of his long-time rival former vice-president Joice Mujuru.
According to Zimbabwe Independent, Mnangagwa hired an expensive private jet to visit Mugabe, who is on annual vacation in Dubai, seeking to clear the air and possibly obtain assurances concerning his prospects of succeeding him.
Mnangagwa though, took his wife Auxilia with him and son Sean to Dubai where they dined with Mugabe, Grace, Mugabe’s daughter, Bona, and her husband Simba Chikore as well as Mugabe’s sons Robert Jr and Chatunga.
Mnangagwa’s backers said he wanted to use the Dubai meeting to put his presidential ambitions back on track.
“However, he was never afforded that opportunity by Grace who steadfastly remained by her husband’s side and never left him alone to allow for any private discussions to take place,” said a source close to the First Family.
“Even the children, particularly Chatunga (Mugabe’s last-born son), were ever present and the most Mnangagwa got out of the visit were the normal family dinners”.
The paper said the First Family were not happy with the fact that their guests had hired a private plane which was formerly owned by the Malawian government and sold to an arms company by former Malawian president Joyce Banda.
The plane was bought in 2013 by Bohnox Enterprises, a firm registered in the British Virgin Islands, which operates from South Africa, where it is loaned to VIPs by the jet company Fortune Air. Both companies are linked to Paramount Group, Africa’s largest private defence and aerospace firm.
Source: Zimbabwe Independent