The ruling party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has expelled former Vice President Joice Mujuru, alleging she plotted against Mugabe. Mujuru was once seen as a likely successor to the 91-year-old.
Mujuru's expulsion from the party comes after she was sacked as vice president late last year, along with a group of several of her allies in government.
According to a statement from the ruling ZANU-PF party on Friday, Mujuru was dismissed for allegedly plotting to remove Robert Mugabe from office (both pictured above) as well as for allegations of corruption and bringing the party into disrepute. Mujuru has previously denied these charges.
When she lost her position in government last year, Mujuru became an ordinary party member. She had held cabinet posts in every government since independence in 1980, when Mugabe first came to power.
Mujuru, 59, is a former guerrilla leader from the liberation war in the state previously known as Rhodesia. Aside from falling out with Mugabe, she came under heavy attack from the 91-year-old leader's wife, Grace Mugabe, who was promoted to head the party's powerful women's wing days before Mujuru was sacked as vice president.
In an interview in March, Mujuru said she felt "used" by Mugabe. "We (together with Solomon, her late husband, who was a retired army commander) and others were used as their ladder to the top, and now we have been discarded like scrubs (cleaning items)," Mujuru said.
Mugabe replaced Mujuru as vice president with hardline justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. He has not indicated a preferred political heir to take over the presidency.
jr/gsw (Reuters, AFP)