Robert Mugabe fires vice president as Zimbabwe's succession battle intensifies

Nov 09, 2017, 00:41
Robert Mugabe fires vice president as Zimbabwe's succession battle intensifies

The war veterans' leader said this from South Africa at a press conference with worldwide media on Wednesday.

Thousands of ZANU PF supporters led by the youth wing this morning descended at the party offices alegedly to show their solidarity with President Robert Mugabe in dismissing his deputy Emerson Mnangagwa on Monday.

The association of former fighters for independence is loyal to Mr Mnangagwa.

The war veterans' statement uses language similar to that used by Mugabe's guerrillas during their fight against white minority-ruled Rhodesia in the 1970s.

"I would like my fellow citizens to know that I am now out of the country, and safe", he said without indicating which country he had escaped to.

Now, Mr Mugabe's wife Grace appears poised for the role.

Mr Mnangagwa, a former intelligence chief, had been a leading candidate to succeed President Mugabe, 93.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, that was the time when he reportedly "unsuccessfully attempted to wrestle power from President Mugabe soon after the country's democratic elections".

Mnangagwa replaced Joice Mujuru, who had been ousted and accused by Mugabe of using witchcraft to take power.

"The President had warned his deputy time and again to desist from having grand designs to seize power unconstitutionally", the Bulawayo-based paper 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.

Mugabe is due to address the crowd of supporters who've held up banners announcing their support for First Lady Grace Mugabe to become the new vice president.