Robert Mugabe sacks vice-president to clear path to power for wife
Dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa, once seen as likely successor to Zimbabwe’s president, paves way for Grace Mugabe to succeed husband
Govt spokesperson announced in Harare Monday, that VeePee Emmerson Mnangagwa, had been relieved
Info Minister Simon Moyo said Mnangagwa, 75, a former intelligence chief, had exhibited disloyalty, disrespect and deceit
First lady, Grace Mugabe, 52, has adeptly manouvered and positioned herself as a possible successor to husband Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe, 93, at the helm since independence 37 years ago, is believed to be inclined towards retaining leadership in the family
Dismissal of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, once seen as likely successor to Zimbabwe’s president, paves way for Grace Mugabe to take over
Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe, has fired his powerful vice-president, clearing the path for his wife, Grace, to succeed him as leader of Zimbabwe.
The country’s information minister, Simon Khaya Moyo, told reporters at a press conference in the capital Harare Monday, that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa had been relieved of his duties. The reason for the highly significant move Moyo said, was because Mnangagwa, 75, a former intelligence chief, had exhibited disloyalty, disrespect and deceitfulness towards the administration.
Against a background of rising tensions and a deteriorating economy, the long simmering power struggle to succeed the visibly ailing, 93-year-old leader has gotten more vicious.
Although Mugabe has been in power 37 years, the sacking of Mnangagwa appears to settle that contest in favor of president’s much younger wife, grace Mugabe’s wife, 52, to continue the dynasty.
On the balance sheet for the queue of jostling aspirants, the oft maligned and less than popular first lady has not done much to enhance her image.
In her latest escaped, she had to flee South Africa under the cover of diplomatic immunity after an alleged assault on a model in a Johannesburg hotel lobby in August. Mrs Mugabe had seen the girl a day earlier, in the company of her Adult sons while the family accompanied the president on a regional summit to neighboring South Africa.
20-year-old South African model, Gabriella Engels, suffered horrific head trauma after the physical attack by Zimbabwe’s first lady.
Grace Mugabe, 52, has positioned herself and appears ready to remove all obstacles that could stop her from possibly succeeding her 93-year-old husband. She has proven to be quite adept at playing the ‘Game Of Thrones’ in the succession battle
Renaging on a promise to voluntarily surrender to authorities after the incident, Grace Mugabe was allowed to leave South Africa under cover, despite a police inquiry. She had been granted diplomatic immunity which was roundly condemned in South Africa. She denies any wrongdoing.
Reports of extravagant purchases, including property in South Africa and a Rolls-Royce, have also angered many in Zimbabwe, where an economic crisis has deepened.
Her most viable opposition, until the latest development, was Mnangagwa, who was appointed vice-president in 2014, taking over from Joice Mujuru, who was axed after Grace Mugabe launched a campaign accusing her of plotting to topple the president.
Until recently, Mnangagwa was tipped as Mugabe’s likely successor, partly because of his support within the country’s powerful security establishment and among veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s guerrilla war which brought Mugabe to power.
Despite his alleged involvement in atrocities in the 1980s, Mnangagwa was also the preferred candidate of much of the international community, where he was seen as most likely to guarantee a stable transition and implement economic reforms.The feud
between Mnangagwa and Grace Mugabe has been bitter and public. Last month the first lady, who leads the women’s league of the ruling Zanu-PF party, publicly denied she was behind the attempted poisoning of her rival in remarks broadcast on state TV.
President Robert Mugabe and first lady Grace Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first couple in the capital Harare – unwilling to relinquish power, at all costs
Mnangagwa claimed he had been poisoned when he fell ill at a rally in August and had to be airlifted to hospital in South Africa. His achilles heel was what some see as ‘orchestrated’ accusations from party rivals that he was plotting to get Mugabe to step down in his favor.
He denies the accusation, nevertheless the veteran party stalwart has seen his own political stock plummet after those accusations.
On Saturday, Grace Mugabe cranked up the pressure against Mnangagwa, calling him the “root cause of factionalism” that was gnawing at the ruling party, Zanu-PF. She also accused the vice-president’s supporters of booing her while she gave her speech: “What if I get in [as vice-president]?, the Grace Mugabe asked at her campaign rally, for elections due in Zimbabwe next year.
What’s wrong with that?
Am I not in the party?
If people know that I work hard and they want to work with me, what is wrong with that?” the first lady said.
A visibly angry Mugabe told the same rally that he and his wife were tired of constant insults from people who identified themselves as Mnangagwa supporters.
20-year-old South African model, Gabriella Engels, points to the head injury she suffered after an alleged physical attack by Grace Mugabe in a hotel lobby, in August
Former Vice President Joice Mujuru, was the first in the list of casualties in the Grace Mugabe juggernaut
Fears of the return of 2008’s hyperinflation have led to panic-buying and rocketing prices in Zimbabwe, while confidence in the parallel “bond note” currency, launched by the government nearly a year ago, has collapsed.
The fractured opposition, meanwhile, has been unable to channel national discontent into a strong play for power. The main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has health problems and recently received treatment in South Africa.