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President Mnangagwa: ‘Grace Mugabe and Not Robert Mugabe Fired Me’

Preisdent Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he was sacked as the country’s vice president last year by Grace Mugabe, using her influence on former president Robert Mugabe, whom he said was no longer in a position to lead the country.

Mnangagwa revealed this in a High Court application in which he challenged and sought nullification of his sacking from government last November.

High Court judge George Chiweshe has since nullified Mnangagwa’s sacking in a ruling handed down on November 24, last year, the day that Mnangagwa was inaugurated as the country’s president.

“The purported dismissal was unlawful and unconstitutional on two fronts. To begin with, I was not purportedly dismissed at the pleasure of Robert Gabriel Mugabe. It was at the pleasure and instigation of Grace Mugabe and G40, a faction within Zanu-PF, that was fanning divisions and hate within the party and was controlling business of government and influencing …. Mugabe to act as they wished,” Mnangagwa said.

He said even though he served at the pleasure of Mugabe that did not put the former president’s actions beyond judicial review.

“That would make him a demigod who is beyond the reach of the Constitution, which he is bound to uphold. The second basis upon which the dismissal is void is that it was not actuated by …Mugabe. It was actuated by Grace Mugabe, to whom he had unconstitutionally abdicated his responsibilities,” he said.

He said a few months before his sacking he had been vilified, demonised and reduced to nothing during rallies, addressed by Grace, who made public pronouncements that she was going to drop him from government.

“There has been numerous attempts on my life which manifested in the following: the placement of cyanide in my office, which resulted in the hospitalisation of my secretary, there have been several break-ins into my offices, I was poisoned on August 12, 2017, the day of the Gwanda youth interface rally, which resulted in my being air-lifted to South Africa for medical treatment, the medical results of which are now out and can be made available. The results are positive that I was poisoned,” he said.
He said his purported dismissal from office by Mugabe, was of no legal effect.

In the application, Mnangagwa cited the acting president of Zimbabwe and the Attorney General of Zimbabwe Prince Machaya, as first and second respondents respectively.

“… Mugabe resigned from the position of president of Zimbabwe on 21 November 2017, just before he could be impeached by Parliament. I, therefore, could not cite him in these proceedings. I hasten to say that, my purported dismissal is void, on the basis that it has no constitutional or legal foundation. It is a legal and constitutional nullity…,” Mnangagwa said.

In the application, Mnangagwa alluded to the fact that he was a veteran of the liberation struggle and held various portfolios since the country got its independence in 1980.

He accused Mugabe of abdicating on his duties by allowing his wife Grace to take over the functions of the president and Cabinet.

“In terms of Section 88 of the Constitution, executive authority is derived from the people and must be exercised in terms of the Constitution, and that executive authority (was) vested in Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who exercised it through Cabinet.

“Powers of government are exercised by the president and Cabinet, in terms of Section 110 of the Constitution. Grace Mugabe was not a member of Cabinet. She had no executive authority and should not have purported to utilise the powers of Robert Gabriel Mugabe,” he said.

Chiweshe granted the order by consent, declaring Mnangagwa’s dismissal a nullity.

“It is ordered by consent that: the dismissal of the applicant by …Mugabe, the then president of Zimbabwe from the office of the vice president of Zimbabwe, on  November 6, 2017, is null and void and accordingly, of no force or effect,” Chiweshe said.

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