Mugabe fires his deputy as Zimbabwe succession race heats up.
Zimbabwe Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo announces the dismissal of vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa with immediate effect yesterday in Harare.
Zimbabwe's 93-year-old president, Robert Mugabe, yesterday sacked his powerful deputy and a main contender in the leadership race to replace him, with his wife Grace now tipped as his most likely successor. Simon Khaya Moyo, Zimbabwe's information minister, announced Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa had been fired for having "consistently and persistently exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability." Best known by his nickname 'The Crocodile', Mnangagwa has long held a powerful place in the southern African nation's politic sphere, but has increasingly come into conflict with the Mugabes in recent months. In one bizarre example of the souring relationship, Mnangagwa accused Grace Mugabe of having given him poison ice cream at a party event last month during which he become violently ill. And last week Mugabe accused his deputy of leading a faction in the ruling Zanu-PF party to try and topple him. Although Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe for over 30 years, has sworn to contend the 2018 elections, the battle for who will replace the increasingly doddery leader after that has grown increasingly heated. Mugabe is said to favour Grace so as to keep power in the family, though it is also possible he believes with his wife at the helm he would be shielded from any legal cases bought against him for years of alleged human rights abuses. As rumours were swirling yesterday ahead of Mnangagwa's sacking, opposition politician Tendai Biti lamented on Twitter that Zimbabwe was poised to become a political dynasty. "Surely we must say no to dynastic capture of the State. The country is not a private limited entity with a sole shareholder," Biti tweeted.
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