Mugabe Appoints New VP

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has named hardliner Emmerson Mnangagwa as his vice president, putting the former justice minister in pole position to succeed the veteran leader.

Mugabe announced the appointment at the headquarters of his ruling ZANU-PF party to loud applause, a move that comes just days after he sacked one-time presidential hopeful turned rival Joice Mujuru as vice president in a major purge.

Nicknamed “Ngwena” (The Crocodile) because of his ruthlessness, Mnangagwa has held various senior posts in the country’s defence and internal security apparatus. “I assured the president, I want to assure the party, its leadership, that I will remain loyal, committed and uphold the correct line of the revolution,” Mnangagwa said, describing the appointment as an “honour”.

The appointment caps a mass purge of rivals by the 90-year-old Mugabe in a bid to end fierce feuding within the ruling ZANU-PF party over who will eventually succeed him.

Analysts say Mugabe is increasingly concerned with making sure his family is secure after he steps down or leaves power. Mnangagwa is reputed to be one of the richest men in the country and is also renowned for his stern demeanour and tough talk.

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Fires Deputy, to Name New Cabinet

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has fired his long-time deputy Joice Mujuru and several of her allies, two government sources said on Tuesday, in the latest sign of a power struggle among the ruling elite. The move came days after Mugabe publicly rebuked the woman who was seen just months ago as his most likely successor, denouncing her before party loyalists as leader of a “treacherous cabal” bent on removing him from office.

The sources, who declined to be named because they are not authorised to speak to the media, said Mujuru and several ministers aligned to her received dismissal letters on Monday night.”A new cabinet list will be released later today,” one of the sources told Reuters.

 The news appeared to seal the political fate of the vice president, seen by some in the Zimbabwean business community as a common-sense leader who could have helped restore ties with the West that fell apart during the latter half of Mugabe’s 34 years in power.

Mujuru, who was also dismissed as Mugabe’s deputy in the party last week, gave statements to the Tuesday editions of two private daily newspapers dismissing the accusations against her. “The allegations that I, alone, or together with various distinguished comrades have sought to remove His Excellency R G Mugabe from office are ridiculous,” Mujuru said.

Mujuru, the 59-year-old former guerrilla leader known as “Spill Blood” during the liberation war, was not immediately available to comment on the report of her dismissal.

The race has been shaken up in recent weeks by first lady Grace Mugabe, 49, who has emerged as a potential successor. She has also launched withering attacks on Mujuru. Mujuru’s fall could also clear the path for Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, a hardline Mugabe loyalist known as ‘The Crocodile’, to position himself to take over when Africa’s oldest head of state dies or retires.

Credit: Reuters

Watch How President Mugabe Plans to Make His Wife Succeed Power

Ninety-year-old Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is – quite literally – paving the way for his wife’s ascent to power. In another sign of the First Lady’s growing clout, Harare residents awoke on Tuesday to a new street, Dr Grace Mugabe Way, leading to the conference center where Africa’s oldest leader may this week anoint his chosen political successor.

The veteran former guerrilla leader, who has manned the helm of the southern African country since the end of British rule in 1980, has never said whom he would prefer to take over when he retires or dies. What little certainty there was has been blown apart this year by the meteoric political rise of his wife, a 49-year-old one-time government typist nicknamed ‘Gucci Grace’ for her reputed shopping skills. Grace’s controversial receipt of a PhD in September, scathing assaults on Vice-President Joice Mujuru and open admissions of political ambition have stirred talk Mugabe is planning to keep Zimbabwe’s leadership in the family.

Credit: Wochit