President Robert Mugabe has fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo told journalists in Harare that Mnangagwa was fired with immediate effect for several reasons including disloyalty, disrespect, deceit and unreliability.
He said, “In accordance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20 Act of 2013, Section 329, 6th Schedule, Paragraph 14, Sub-paragraph (2), His Excellency the president Comrade RG Mugabe has exercised his powers to relive Honourable Vice President of E.D Mnangagwa of his position as vice president of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect.
“It had become evident that his conduct in the discharge of his duties had become inconsistent with his officials responsibilities. The vice president has consistently and persistently exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability. He has also demonstrated little probity in the execution of his duties.”
Mnangagwa was not available for comment. The former vice president has been a subject of public ridicule at Zanu PF rallies and other meetings related to the ruling party with some like Mrs. Mugabe claiming that he is using his so-called Team Lacoste faction in a bid to succeed President Mugabe.
Mrs. Mugabe, on the other hand, was said to be leading another faction of the party known as Generation 40 in an attempt to succeed the 93 year-old Zimbabwean leader.
Mr. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for more than 37 years with Mnangagwa always viewed as his right hand person.
The former vice president fell out of favour when he claimed that he was poisoned while attending a Presidential Youth Interface Rally in Gwanda, Matabeleland South. This was disputed by the first lady and the president, whose farm supplied ice cream that was consumed on that particular day.
He was subsequently attacked by his colleague Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, who noted that the vice president's poisoning story was a figment of his own imagination.
Critics say Mnangagwa's sacking was similar to what befell former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who was removed from her position following allegations that she wanted to topple the president and other issues.
She has dismissed those allegations as political machinations by some in the ruling party that want to have their preferred candidate to take over from Mr. Mugabe when he leaves office.