The youth wing of Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has called on President Robert Mugabe to sack his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and to give the post to his wife, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports.

Grace Mugabe was the only leader with “unquestionable loyalty” to Mr Mugabe and Zanu-PF, the Zanu-PF Youth League said.

They went on to call for the “urgent removal” of Mr Mnangagwa as the vice-president of the party and government.


Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe has called for the expulsion of the powerful Vice-President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, from the ruling Zanu-PF party ahead of its elective congress next month, the state-run Herald newspaper reports.

Her comments came a day after a visibly angry President Robert Mugabe, 93, threatened to fire Mr Mnangagwa, fuelling speculation he favours his wife to succeed him.

Addressing members of indigenous church groups at a rally in the capital, Harare, on Sunday, Mrs Mugabe said:

“The snake must be hit on the head. We must deal with the real snake behind the factions and discord in the party. We are going for the congress as a united party.”

Mrs Mugabe, the head of the Zanu-PF women’s league, and Mr Mnangagwa are seen as the front-runners in the battle to succeed Mr Mugabe when he dies or steps down.

AFP news agency quoted her as saying her husband should anoint her as his successor:

“I say to Mr Mugabe you should… leave me to take over your post. Have no fear. If you want to give me the job give it to me freely.”

Her comments came a day after Mr Mnangagwa’s supporters heckled her at a rally in the second city, Bulawayo.

Mr Mugabe reacted angrily, pounding the podium with his fists and saying he would no longer tolerate constant insults from the vice president’s supporters.

He warned Mr Mnangagwa and his followers to show loyalty to him or risk being sacked.

In a further sign that Mr Mnangagwa’s political career is in deep trouble, two influential Zanu-PF regions, Mashonaland Central and Bulawayo, resolved on Sunday to ask Mr Mugabe to immediately dismiss he vice-president for allegedly undermining him, the Herald reports.

Zanu-PF is expected to amend its constitution at its congress, setting aside one of the two posts of vice-president for a woman.

The post is expected to be filled by Mrs Mugabe, increasing her chances of eventually succeeding her husband.