Zimbabwe Ousted Vice President to become Interim President

Emmerson Mnangagwa says post-Mugabe era is ‘full democracy’

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA—Emmerson Mnangagwa, the dismissed vice president of Zimbabwe, is poised to take over the reign of leadership within the next 72 hours as interim president now that ousted president Robert Mugabe has resigned.

Intra-party split in the Zanu-PF and a serious rift between First Lady Grace Mugabe, wife of President Mugabe who was also the chairwoman of the Zanu-PF Women’s Wings had wanted to succeed her husband as the country’s next president.

In the past, President Mugabe had purged three other vice presidents including Joice Mujuru based on First Lady Grace Mugabe’s recommendations and a quest for control and power. Mnangagwa sacking was the last straw for the military and some of the Zanu-PF faithful.

Zimbabwe’s defense forces, which is an ally of the deposed vice president, on Tuesday seized the headquarters of the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, though the army later denied any attempt at a coup on the following Wednesday.

During the takeover, the army spokesman said their intervention was only meant to target criminals around President Mugabe. By Wednesday evening, the ruling Zanu-PF party, Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, said the president and his family, were safe.

Mnangagwa, 71, was instrumental in Zimbabwe’s war of independence in the 1970s. Sources say he became the country chief of intelligence during the civil conflict in the 1980s, in which thousands of civilians were killed.

The ruling party has already anointed Mnangagwa as its head and he will be taking over as interim president within days or hours.  Sources say he promised to open the country’s economy to promote free trade and advance the concept of job creation.

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Jacob Ujamaa Nyerere

Jacob Ujamaa Nyerere is a public affairs researcher and senior investigative correspondent.
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