Sacked Zim­babwe No 2 lashes out at Mu­gabe ‘lies’

Marlborough Express - - WORLD -

ZIM­BABWE: Zim­babwe’s for­mer vice pres­i­dent yes­ter­day vowed to re­turn home to ‘‘fight’’ for democ­racy as he re­vealed he had fled the coun­try af­ter be­ing sacked and la­belled a ‘‘traitor’’.

Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, 75, left his gov­ern­ment of­fice on Tues­day, sev­eral hours be­fore Robert Mu­gabe, 93, the pres­i­dent, dis­missed him and ac­cused him of be­ing ‘‘de­ceit­ful’’ and ‘‘dis­loyal’’.

The ex-vice pres­i­dent, re­ported to be in ei­ther Mozam­bique or South Africa, re­leased a five-page state­ment, via his fam­ily in Harare, in which he said he would re­turn to cam­paign against Mu­gabe in elec­tions next year.

‘‘I will fight tooth and nail against those mak­ing a mock­ery of Zanu-PF found­ing prin­ci­ples, ethos and val­ues,’’ he said. Mu­gabe yes­ter­day told thou­sands of sup­port­ers that Mnan­gagwa was a ‘‘de­viant’’, adding that he [Mnan­gagwa] had told sup­port­ers the pres­i­dent would re­tire in March. ‘‘Upon re­al­is­ing that I wasn’t [step­ping down], he started to con­sult tra­di­tional heal­ers on when I was go­ing to die. At some point, he was told that he would die be­fore me,’’ Mu­gabe said.

The move to sack Mnan­gagwa clears a path to the pres­i­dency for Grace Mu­gabe, Zim­babwe’s first lady, who on Mon­day la­belled the ex-vice pres­i­dent a ‘‘traitor’’.

Mnan­gagwa, who served the gov­ern­ment for 37 years, was one of the first to launch armed at­tacks against white-mi­nor­ity Rhode­sia and served 10 years in prison be­fore go­ing into -ex­ile in Mozam­bique. He then served at Mr Mu­gabe’s side as his per­sonal as­sis­tant and body­guard.

Yes­ter­day, the coun­try’s War Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion, which is loyal to Mnan­gagwa, said it had ex­pelled Mr Mu­gabe as its leader and formed a rev­o­lu­tion­ary coun­cil to take over Zanu-PF. - Tele­graph Group

PHOTO: REUTERS

For­mer Zim­babwe VicePres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa has fled the coun­try af­ter be­ing sacked and branded a traitor.

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