Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe fires vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe fires vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa

Simon Khaya Moyo said on Monday that President Robert Mugabe, 93, has fired the vice president who had always been viewed as his successor.

Mugabe's dramatic move came after a weekend of high drama between Mnangagwa and Grace Mugabe after which the president appeared to finally back his wife in the succession race.

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Zimbabweans have reacted with mixed emotions after President Robert Mugabe fired his deputy and long-time ally Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday.

"Mr Mnangagwa's conduct in discharge of his duties is inconsistent with the responsibilities", Information Minister Simon Moyo said.

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While the ruling party has named 93-year-old Mugabe as its presidential candidate, there's doubt he will live to see out another five-year term. However, Grace said on Sunday Mnangagwa had always been plotting against her husband, even months after independence. "That man is a ravisher", said Grace. Mnangagwa was Mugabe's protege and had been at his side through five decades of prison, guerrilla war and then post-liberation government, and questions are being raised about what caused the fallout between the two men.

Mugabe stripped him of the justice ministry recently and criticised Mnangagwa's support for repeal of the death penalty.

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He is the world's oldest head of state and has insisted he will contest next year's leadership election despite public calls from his wife to name his successor. His main rival Morgan Tsvangirai has been in and out of a South African hospital after announcing he had colon cancer in 2016.

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