Mugabe expels his deputy Mnangagwa

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Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe fired his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday as the battle to succeed the aging leader between the country's First Lady and VP intensified.

Mnangagwa's removal provides a boost for Mugabe's wife, Grace, who has been a vocal critic of the vice president and is also seen as a potential successor to her husband.

Some army generals backed Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe and have publicly said they will not allow someone who did not fight in the 1970s independence war to rule.

In 2014, Mugabe expelled his female deputy Joice Mujuru on allegations of plotting to topple his through, among others, witchcraft allegations.

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"Mr Mnangagwa's conduct in discharge of his duties is inconsistent with the responsibilities", Information Minister Simon Moyo said. "The only problem is he says to vice president Mnangagwa down with factionalism it divides the party period!" He is widely accused of violence against opposition parties from 1980 independence onwards, along with other senior now serving members of Mugabe's cabinet and inner circle.

Mnangagwa did not attend the security briefing which was meant to be held at Mugabe's private residence, having already tendered his resignation, although earlier information we got suggested that Mugabe had barred him from attending.

Speculation is now swirling over whether Grace Mugabe will be appointed to the vacant vice president's post at a party congress next month.

Grace has said she was ready to become deputy to her husband.