Mugabe's vice president, ministers fired in Zimbabwe purge

A file photo taken on January 19, 2006 shows Zimbabwe's vice President Joice Mujuru answering questions during an interview in her office at President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party headquaters in Harare.

AFRICA - Zimbabwe's vice president, once seen as Robert Mugabe's heir apparent, has been fired along with eight cabinet allies, the government said Tuesday as the veteran leader purged his foes.

As the elderly head of state sought to quell infighting over his successor, the chief secretary to the cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, said in a terse statement that Joice Mujuru had been fired.

Also sacked were her allies in the ministries of energy, public service, and half a dozen other departments, he said.

The move caps a long campaign by Mugabe and his closest lieutenants to isolate the 59-year-old Mujuru, a former guerrilla fighter, and her supporters.

She has come more and more under attack, notably from 90-year-old Mugabe's increasingly powerful wife Grace.

Critics have accused Mujuru of plotting to assassinate the president and of dodgy business dealings.

"It has become evident that her conduct in the discharge of her duties had become inconsistent with the expected standard," Sibanda said in the statement.

He also blamed Mujuru for "conflict between official responsibilities and private interests".

Mujuru furiously rejected the allegations, saying she had become "the fly in the web of lies" and adding "no iota of evidence" had been produced against her.

The public battle with Mujuru has put 68-year-old Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa firmly in top position to replace Mugabe.

Mnangagwa is seen as a hardliner who in the past controlled the secret police and military.

Some cite another possible candidate as Grace Mugabe, who has also been called "Gucci Grace" and "First Shopper".

The reports came after the ruling ZANU-PF party last week met for a closely-watched congress to elect its officials, finally endorsing Mugabe as president and the 49-year-old Grace as head of the party's women's wing.

After her surprise nomination for the powerful post in August, Grace immediately launched a sustained campaign against Mujuru, accusing her of corruption and plotting to topple her husband.

Mujuru's ouster shook Zimbabwean politics.

"This will leave ZANU-PF severely weakened," said Charles Mangogera of Porterhill Research.

"Those who have been sacked are people with a significant social base. They are no pushovers. They are people with a significant following." "If elections were called today you would be 100 per cent guaranteed that ZANU-PF would lose."

'Fly in a web of lies'

Mujuru said she was being victimised after exposing infiltrators conspiring to destroy the party, which has ruled the country since independence in 1980.

"I have become the fly in the web of lies whose final objective is the destruction of ZANU-PF and what it stands for and ultimately the present government," Mujuru said in a statement.

"A vociferous attempt has been made to portray me as 'a traitor', 'murderer' and 'sellout', yet no iota of evidence has been produced to give credence to the allegations." Mujuru earlier Tuesday blamed "a well-orchestrated smear campaign and gross abuse of state apparatus" for the loss last week of her powerful position on ZANU-PF's central committee.

Mangogera said Mujuru may choose to push back against the allegations.

"From her statements, one can sense she will launch a legal fight," he said. "She will certainly not take it lying down." ZANU-PF has been riven by factionalism over Mugabe's succession, but in the past party leaders managed to paper over the cracks.

Mujuru did not attend last week's party congress following threats against her and her sympathisers by members of the party's youth league.

"I decided to stay away from inevitable public humiliation as was meted out to other unfortunate members of the party," she said.

"It was important to maintain the dignity of the office of the vice president even in the face of such unwarranted violence by a section of the party membership." When he appointed Mujuru vice president in 2004, Mugabe, who has refused to name his successor, hinted that she was destined for higher office.

Mujuru is a former guerrilla fighter and widow of the country's first black army chief, who had held cabinet posts in every Mugabe government since independence in 1980.

More about

Cabinet
Purchase this article for republication.

VIDEOS YOU SHOULD WATCH

  • #Joeyjios: We try bubble tea mala hotpot and bubble tea toast

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/food/we-try-bubble-tea-mala-hotpot-and-bubble-tea-toast-guess-which-ones-got-us-hooked Mala and bubble milk tea within the same hotpot? What about bubble tea on toast? Who even comes up with these ideas?! This week on #Joeyjios, we give these dubious food creations a taste-test to see if they're worth your time, money and calories. #bubbletea #bbt #boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Thirstdays: Where we talk weird dates and wild fantasies

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/entertainment/thirstdays-where-we-talk-weird-dates-and-wild-fantasies Ooo, it's been a hot week and the thirst is real at AsiaOne. Join Le En and Bryan as they chat about weird dates, constant 'cravings', and Beyonce's thigh gap! And they are quenching that thirst with a cup of root beer float to celebrate the return of a certain fast food restaurant. Thirstdays is a fortnightly AsiaOne #entertainment series where our hosts Le En and Bryan give you a peek into their personal lives while they satisfy their thirst over a drink, have a no-holds-barred chat, and do fun things. #gossip #confessions #realness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep4: He beats people up, but for the country

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-delinquent-national-wrestler He used to beat people up, simply because he had "too much energy" to expend. Now, he still beats people up - but for the country. Meet 24-year-old #Singapore national wrestler Toh Xin Ran. Seeing the number of medals that he has been awarded and the respectful manner in which he now interacts with his wrestling coach, it is hard to imagine that Xin Ran used to be a troubled kid in his younger days. #wrestling #sportsman --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: Taste-testing The Alley Luxe and CHICHA San Chen

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/food/alley-luxe-and-chicha-san-chen-opens-week-heres-what-try A Michelin-standard bubble tea for $4.70? A drink that looks like the Northern Lights? This week, #Joeyjios her colleague Le En to check out two new bubble tea (BBT) stores that are opening along Orchard Road. Which will they prefer? Watch to find out. #Thedeerishere #TheAlley #Chichasanchen #Boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 5: Bosses and Things

    It’s been a few weeks - let’s find out if the higher-ups of AsiaOne have any regrets about hiring Le En. Efforts were made to make nice, charity is involved and work is never-ending still. Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: DIY your way into mum's heart this Mother's Day

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/women/joeyjios-diy-your-way-mums-heart-mothers-day Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Have you gotten mum a gift yet? This week on #Joeyjios, Joey tries her hand at DIY projects that’s thoughtful, useful and inexpensive. #Mothersday #DIY --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep3: He 'sees' the world with the help of tech

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-he-may-be-blind-he-can-text-faster-you Edwin Khoo, 43, surprises friends with the speed at which he types on his phone. The reason? He's been blind since birth. But #technology has been the game-changer for Edwin in navigating the world around him despite his #disability, allowing him to #travel and even host his own online #podcast. --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 4: The Dress Code

    It’s in the employee handbook - but does ANYONE actually read and follow the dress code? Are calves too scandalous? Le En puts on Athleisure and tries to get away with it! Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Caryn Cheng finds the best deals at IMM's Greater Savings Home and Furnishing Sale

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/5-couples-share-most-expensive-items-they-have-ever-bought-their-home AsiaOne challenges Caryn Cheng to find the best deals at the upcoming #IMM Greater Savings Home and Furnishing #Sale. IMM's Greater Savings Home & Furnishing Sale will start May 13 to 19. With 20 per cent off storewide at Best Denki and discounts of up to 50 per cent at stores such as INKAGU Outlet by Picket & Rail, Linen Gallery Outlet and Red Apple from May 17 to 19, this epic sale is not to be missed. Address: 2 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609601 Opening hours: 10am to 10pm #brandedcontent --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: I try a ballet-inspired workout despite my two left feet

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/joeyjios-i-try-ballet-inspired-workout-despite-my-two-left-feet Tendu, Arabesque and Grand Pliés? This week on #Joeyjios, I found out that these are in fact, not edible food dishes, but dance moves in ballet.  Watch as former professional ballerinas and co-founders of #BalletBody, Lisha Chin and Alison Carroll, take me through a snippet of their hour-long ballet-inspired workout while I try my best to keep up.  #Ballet #Barre #Fitness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com

SERVICES