Zimbabwe’s Mugabe sacks VP seen as top succession candidate

PUBLISHED: Mon, 06 Nov 2017 18:02:33 GMT
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Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has fired Emmerson Mnangagwa as vice president after he showed “traits of disloyalty”, his information minister said on Monday, removing a favourite to succeed the 93-year-old leader.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C) holds hands with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) and First Lady Grace Mugabe (R) during celebrations marking his birthday at the Great Zimbabwe monument in Masvingo on February 27, 2016. / AFP / JEKESAI NJIKIZANA (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mnangagwa’s removal provides a boost for Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who has been a vocal critic of the vice president and is also seen as a potential successor to her husband.

“The vice president has consistently and persistently exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability,” minister Simon Khaya Moyo told reporters.

“It had become evident that his conduct in his discharge of his duties had become inconsistent with his official responsibilities.”

Neither Mnangagwa nor his aides could immediately be reached for comment.

Grace, 52, called Mnangagwa a coup plotter and a coward on Sunday in a speech that inflamed an already bad-tempered rift in the ruling Zanu-PF party.

It followed a speech by Mugabe at a rally on Saturday where he publicly rebuked his deputy for the first time.

Reporting by Macdonald Dzirutwe; Writing by Joe Brock; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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