Zimbabwe ruling Zanu-PF party expels sacked VP

Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Zimbabwe’s First Lady says she is ready to assist her husband in leading the country as the ruling party moved to expel a defiant former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

President Robert Robert Mugabe on Monday fired Mr Mnangagwa from government, amid claims his long-time ally was plotting a coup.

Mrs Grace Mugabe was instrumental in Mr Mnangagwa’s downfall, just as she was in Ms Joice Mujuru’s expulsion in 2014.

The First Lady told the Zanu-PF supporters at a solidarity rally in Harare on Wednesday that she was ready to lead.

The rally was organised after the president’s wife was booed at another meeting in the second city of Bulawayo.

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President Mugabe accused Mr Mnangagwa and his supporters of paying people to embarrass his wife, before he sent him packing on charges of ‘deceit and disloyalty’.

The First Lady, who no longer hides her ambitions to succeed the 93-year-old ruler, said her husband was ‘anointed' by God to rule Zimbabwe.

“He (President Mugabe) is also my President,” she said.

Youth league

“I love my President. I respect my President. I will help him to make this country prosper.”

Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said Mr Mnangagwa had been fired after the party structures endorsed his expulsion.

“All the 10 provinces, the women’s league and the youth league endorsed the expulsion of former Vice-President of the Republic of Zimbabwe by his Excellency R.G. Mugabe,” he said.

“On the request of the 10 provinces, women’s league and the youth league, the politburo has unanimously expelled former Vice-President and second secretary of the party Cde ED Mnangagwa as a member of the party.”

On Wednesday, Mr Mnangagwa vowed to topple President Mugabe in a few weeks after he fled to South Africa.

Mr Mnangagwa had reportedly been blocked from leaving the country for Mozambique, but on Wednesday he issued the statement denouncing his dismissal and stating that he was out of the country.

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