Zimbabwe′s Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa sacked | Africa | DW | 06.11.2017
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Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa sacked

President Robert Mugabe's deputy and longtime ally Emmerson Mnangagwa has been fired. First Lady Grace Mugabe, who had called for him to go, is now a step closer to becoming the next vice president.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, long seen as Mugabe's most likely successor, was sacked on Monday (06.11.2017). His dismissal was widely expected after political rallies outmaneuvered over the weekend, at which President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace hinted at the possibility. Announcing the dismissal, Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo said Mnangagwa had exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect and deceitfulness.

The First Lady had openly called for the dismissal of Mnangagwa on the grounds that he was dividing the party and harboring ambitions to succeed her 93-year-old husband. She has made no secret out of wanting to replace Mnangagwa in the vice-presidency. Grace Mugabe is also pushing for the party's constitution to be amended at an extraordinary congress planned for December to reserve the Party's leadership for a woman, who would then be nominated presidential candidate. Or, in her own words: "If all people do not want disciplinary action to be taken against Mnangagwa, I am going to stand alone. If you see yourself going against the chosen leadership, you are gone and finished."

Zimbabweans are worried

President Robert Mugabe planting a kiss on the cheek of his wife, Grace

President Robert Mugabe seems to have done his wife's bidding

Ordinary Zimbabweans are very worried about the escalating succession fights. One man told DW Africa: "It is a curse in that the focus is no longer on economic issues or on stabilizing the situation. People are suffering. The whole dynasty program Mugabe has … we want something new for a change.

Another man also voiced his disappointment: "We were hoping to see people in government and the ruling party more united than before. When the First Lady comes into power, which is most likely, we must brace ourselves for more chaos. I don't think this is good for our economy."

Critics say Grace's rise to power is harmful to Zimbabwe, not least because of her legendary love for acquiring property. Civil rights activist Linda Masarira says she fears the worst: "It will be a mockery to the intelligence of Zimbabweans to have Grace Mugabe as Vice President of this country, let alone the President of this country."

Not good for the country

Riot police seen through a car's broken window

People have taken to the streets of Zimbabwe to protest the dire state of the economy

Masarira believes the situation is already difficult because of the First Lady's acquisitiveness, which does not stop before national assets. Imagine then "what will happen if she takes over the reins of power. She has shown us in the very little space and power she had and the very little power that she has that she is power hungry and just want to amass all the wealth she can get," Masarira told DW Africa.

One person seems unfazed by all the infighting to succeed the president: Robert Mugabe himself. The nonagenarian head of state and longest-serving president on the African continent wants to run again in elections in 2018. And he seems determined to crush all attempts to resist his hold on power.

 

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