It was announced with an official statement after a meeting of top government officials on Monday.
The VP had earlier met with the President for a routine briefing that same day.
Robert Mugabe and his VP have long been in a tussle within the ZANU-PF political party. The “crocodile” as popularly called has not publicly commented on his dismissal.
According to the statement presented by Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo, the 75-year old former VP exhibited acts of disloyalty.
“Mr Mnangagwa’s conduct in discharge of his duties is inconsistent with the responsibilities,”
“The vice-president has exhibited traits of disloyalty.”
Vice-President Emmerson is a political titan having served under various capacities under the administration of Mugabe.
From 1980 to 1988, he was the Minister of State Security; Minister of Justice from (1988 – 2000); Speaker of Parliament (2000 – 2005); Minister of Rural Housing (2005 – 2009); Minister of Defence (2009 – 2013) and Minister of Justice (2013 – 2017).
These are key facts surrounding the VP’s sack:
1. Bromance Gone Sour
Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa had come a long way before the brotherhood tore apart. For over 4 decades, Mnangagwa has worked closely with Mugabe who supposedly intends to run for elections next year at the age of 93.
During the liberation war in 1977, Mnangagwa served as his special assistant.
Long before the recent divisive happenings between the two, Emmerson was his right-hand man. Following the impeachment of Joice Mujuru in 2014, Mugabe appointed Emmerson Mnangagwa as the first Vice-President.
2. The 2nd VP To Be Booted Out Of Office By Robert Mugabe
Mnangagwa’s sack may have made headlines but it is not exactly surprising. Both have been in strong opposition with the VP pushing for the step down of the sit-tight president.
This will be yet another time Robert Mugabe gives his deputy the boot. In 2014, a similar strategy was used to eject Joice Mujuru from the government and later from the party.
Joice Mujuru, now the leader and founder of the Zimbabwe People First party, was the Southern country’s First VP for 10 years(6 December 2004 – 8 December 2014). Mujuru was accused of a coup plot that aimed at poisoning Mugabe.
There were no substantial proofs, however, she was fired. Mujuru bluntly categorized her sack as part of Mugabe’s endless politicking schemes. Same has been said about the VP’s sack yesterday.
Just like VP Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mujuru was a potential contender who also supported that the president should step down. The only Irony is that Mnangagwa was then on Mugabe’s team.
3. The Place Of Grace Mugabe
Grace Mugabe always plays a role each time a VP is about to be kicked out of office.
Currently the leader of the Women League in ZANU-PF, Zim’s controversial first lady, Grace Mugabe had earlier called for the sack of the VP. It appears things are accordingly taking shape to her taste with the recent news of Emmerson’s sack.
Last month, she purported that supporters of Mr Mnangagwa were behind a supposed plot to overthrow Mugabe. Backing up her claims, the youth league of the Zanu-PF party started making calls for President Mugabe to sack Mr Mnangagwa, and appoint the first lady in his place.
Political observers are of the opinion that the tone is being set for Grace to be the next presidential successor. Though the age old president has denied such notions, it has been strongly speculated that the first lady is most likely to succeed Mugabe.
It is also suspected that the first lady will most probably be appointed the next vice-president at a special congress of the ruling Zanu-PF party next month.
While addressing the people during the church interface rally, “Super Sunday” at Rufaro Stadium in Mbare, Mrs Mugabe said this:
“I stand by the President to the grave. He is my President. He is an honest man. A man of integrity. He is the kind of man who tells the truth. He is a loving man and I will defend him to the end.”
“Constitution provided for two VPs, of which one was supposed to be a woman. It was only amended to accommodate VP Mnangagwa when Ms (Joice) Mujuru was expelled. We now want our position back. The constitution must be amended to provide for a woman VP. As Women’s League, we will decide on the candidate to take up the VP position. The initial amendment was a mistake and we will never allow that to happen again.”