President Mnangagwa who was poisoned at a rally says he has a suspect. “I suspect. I suspect as to who did it. They are still good friends of mine. I now suspect that they now know that I know,” he told The Financial Times in an interview.

The President said it was not food poisoning. He said all nine categories of food poisoning were negative.

“It was called a hard metal arsenic toxin. Arsenic toxin, something like that. That’s the class of poison. And it’s not easy to come with it. They say it’s colourless, it is tasteless and the areas where it could be found are possibly two. Three initially, professors in that area eliminated this one, and it was left with two countries. Russia and Israel. So it’s possible it came from Russia,” he said.

He said those who poisoned him were surprised that he survived because they expected him to die of cardiac arrest. He said doctors have, however, declared that he was now okay. President Mnangagwa said his calmness and collectedness after being castigated at rallies whose sole purpose was to attack and humiliate him annoyed Mrs Mugabe even more.

“After the First Lady (former) castigates me (at a rally), I’d shake her hand. I said thank you very much. She became even more annoyed. Then the next day there was a rally. I didn’t go to that one, but I listened. So I was being castigated there as a snake.

“And to deal with this snake you must crush the head. And this snake is Mnangagwa, we must crush the head, not beat the tail or the body. She went berserk on that one. At that stage now I believed she was not mentally OK. Then the next day I was fired at about four o’clock. I got a letter. In terms of section so and so, you are fired with immediate effect,” he said.

However, he said his Government was going to do everything to protect the legacy of former President Robert Mugabe saying he remains a father figure and a founding national icon.