Zimbabwe’s sacked vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, said Wednesday he had fled the country, as he issued a direct challenge to long-ruling President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, AFP has reported.
Challenging Mugabe, Mnangagwa said in an angry five-page statement that the ruling ZANU-PF party “is not personal property for you and your wife to do as you please.” He also vowed to he would return to Zimbabwe to lead party members. In a report by Reuters, Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired by President Robert Mugabe this week landed safely in South Africa, the head of the war veterans Chris Mutsvangwa said on Wednesday.
Mnangagwa’s removal on Monday was a boost for Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who has been a vocal critic of the former vice president and is seen as a potential successor to her husband.
Mutsvangwa, a close ally of Mnangagwa, told reporters in Johannesburg that Grace was behind the purge of Mnangagwa and his allies. “(ZANU-PF) is now a party controlled by undisciplined, egotistical and self-serving minnows who derive their power not from the people and party but from only two individuals in the form of the First Family,” Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa, 75, had been one of the president’s closest allies since Mugabe took power in 1980 after leading the fight against British rule. He was sacked on Monday following weeks of public clashes with Mugabe and Grace.