Mugabe Fires VP Mnangagwa, Positions Wife to Take Over
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabawe has sacked his Vice, Emmerson Mnangagwa, citing disloyalty.
The sack of the VP is a clear answer to call by Mugabe’s wife, Grace, that he should leave office to clear way for her emergence as VP and perhaps succeeding Mugabe.
This ends a 40-year old ally between Mugabe and Mnangagwa. The VP has worked closely with Mr Mugabe for more than 40 years, serving as his special assistant during the liberation war in 1977. His nickname in the party was the “crocodile”, so-called due to his shrewdness. As yet, he has not commented on his dismissal.
Mr Mnangagwa, 75, had displayed “traits of disloyalty”, Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo said.
His removal makes it more likely that President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace will follow in her husband’s footsteps as leader of Zimbabwe, said Guardian
“Mr Mnangagwa’s conduct in discharge of his duties is inconsistent with the responsibilities,” the information minister said.
“The vice-president has exhibited traits of disloyalty.”
Mnangagwa was alleged to have been a leading candidate to succeed President Mugabe, 93.
His sacking means Grace Mugabe is expected to be appointed vice-president at a special congress of the ruling Zanu-PF party next month.
Addressing members of indigenous church groups at a rally in the capital, Harare, on Sunday, Mrs Mugabe said: “The snake must be hit on the head.
“We must deal with the real snake behind the factions and discord in the party. We are going for the congress as a united party.”
Last month, she warned of plans to stage a coup, hinting that supporters of the VP were behind the alleged plot. Mrs Mugabe, the head of the Zanu-PF women’s league, and Mr Mnangagwa have been seen as the front-runners in the battle to succeed Mr Mugabe when he dies or steps down.
Mr Mugabe has been in power in Zimbabwe since 1980. He was elected president in 1987, having previously served as the country’s prime minister. He is planning to contest next year’s elections.
Earlier, the youth league of the Zanu-PF party called on President Mugabe to sack Mr Mnangagwa, and to replace him with the first lady. They accused VP’s supporters of heckling Mrs Mugabe at a rally in the second city, Bulawayo, and denounced them as “rebels”.