Mugabe Fires Deputy After Wife Says She Can Lead Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe dismissed Emmerson Mnangagwa as his deputy, a day after first woman Grace Mugabe accused him of planning a coup and mentioned she’s ready to succeed her husband as chief of the southern African nation.

Mngangagwa, 75, was fired for “among other things, disloyalty,” Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo instructed reporters Monday at Mugabe’s workplace within the capital, Harare. The announcement adopted the president’s feedback at a rally on Saturday within the southern African nation’s second-biggest metropolis, Bulawayo, that he was ready to dismiss Mnangagwa.

Photographer: ALEXANDER JOE/AFP

Tensions within the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front have grown because the nation gears up for elections subsequent 12 months when it could face a seven-party opposition alliance that’s capitalizing on public discord over money shortages, crumbling infrastructure and a collapse in authorities companies. While Zanu-PF named Mugabe, 93, as its presidential candidate, he’s appeared frail in public, sparking concern amongst his supporters that he could also be unable to finish one other five-year time period.

“It’s clear Mugabe has his own succession in mind,” Brian Raftopoulos, the Cape Town-based director of badysis on the Solidarity Peace Trust, a church-backed human rights group, mentioned by cellphone. “He’s been getting rid of potential successors he doesn’t like.”

On Sunday, Grace introduced she’s ready to succeed the president, who’s dominated Zimbabwe since 1980. She accused Mnangagwa of making an attempt to “carry out a coup” in opposition to the president and mentioned at a rally in Harare, on Sunday, that she’d instructed her husband that he “should leave your position for me.”

Ruling Party Tensions

While Mnangagwa had been thought-about a number one candidate to succeed Mugabe, he’s suffered setbacks in current weeks, together with dropping his place as justice minister in a cupboard reshuffle. His faction of supporters is named Lacoste, taken from the French sportswear firm’s Lacoste’s emblem, a crocodile — the nickname he earned in the course of the liberation struggle in opposition to white-minority rule.

“If Emmerson Mnangagwa takes a lot of people with him, it means the party is weakened, even if the faction against him looks strengthened,” Derek Matyszak, an badyst on the Southern African Political Economic Series Trust, mentioned by cellphone.

The present divisions are the worst since 2014 when Mugabe fired Joice Mujuru as vp after Grace accused her of plotting in opposition to the president. She’s now a part of the opposition alliance that features former Finance Minister Tendai Biti and ex-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

“There’s nothing to say or do,” Mnangagwa’s spokesman, Nharo Gwatidzo, mentioned from Harare. “We’ve been fired.”

— With help by Rene Vollgraaff, and Michael Cohen


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