Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has defended the sacking of his vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa about 48 hours after
the news broke.
The 93-year-old leader claims that in Mnangagwa’s bid to become president had spread false rumours about his retirement and gone as far as consulting traditional healers on when he (Mugabe) was going to die.
“Upon realising that I wasn’t (going to retire), he started to consult traditional healers on when I was going to die,” Mugabe said, adding: “At some point, he was told that he would die first before me.”
Do not be afraid or ashamed to appoint your own wife. She is Zimbabwean and the people want her.
The Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo in an official communication on Monday said Mnangagwa had been fired because of “disrespect, disloyalty and deceitfulness.”
Addressing a mammoth rally of Zanu-PF faithful in the capital Harare, Mugabe said Mnangagwa had been fired for the same reasons that his predecessor was forced out.
“What led to the expulsion of former VP Mujuru is what caused Mnangagwa to be shown the exit,” the state-owned Herald Newspaper reported.
— harumutasa/aljazeera (@harumutasa) November 8, 2017
Mnangagwa, a 75-year-old former intelligence chief, had prior to his sack been heavily-criticised by supporters of Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who has also been touted as a potential successor to her husband.
Joice Mujuru was Mugabe’s vice president for a decade until she was fired in 2014 also due to perceived differences with First Lady Grace Mugabe and with an added reason that she was scheming to take Mugabe’s place.
Meanwhile vice-president Mphoko has
said it is the right of Mugabe to name his wife as Mnangagwa’s replacement. “Do not be afraid or ashamed to appoint your own wife. She is Zimbabwean and the people want her,” he said.
Political watchers say it is just a matter of time before Grace is named vice-president of the southern African country.