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Mugabe Fires Chinamasa, Weakens Mnangagwa

11 October 2017

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Saturday warned some ministers will be axed in a shake-up of his Cabinet amid deepening infighting in his Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU - PF) party over who succeeds him. President Mugabe praised the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment led by Minister Patrick Zhuwao for launching the Zimbabwe Champions and Heroes of Economic Empowerment Revolution and Empowerment Bank, meant to assist youth venturing into business.

Mr Chinamasa, who was away in the United States on government business when the reshuffle was announced, is considered a key ally of the VP.

Meanwhile former Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo is now the Finance minister which was Patrick Chinamasa's portfolio, who has been moved to the Cyber Security ministry.

An angry Grace Mugabe departed from a prepared speech at an event in Harare to attack Mr Mnangagwa.

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"We are being threatened night and day that if a particular person does not become president we will be killed", she said.

"Ministers to the new cabinet should also ensure that their loyalty is exclusively to their appointing authority, who is none other than President Mugabe".

Mr Mnangagwa will be replaced by Happyton Bonyongwe, head of the feared Central Intelligence Organisation.

Three other ministers regarded members of a faction that supports the VP to take over from President Mugabe, were fired.

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The remark was seen as a jibe at Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had to be rushed for treatment in South Africa after he was hit by a bout of vomiting and diarrhoea at a rally on August 12.

She added that the vice-president, who has allies among veterans of Zimbabwe's war of independence, was fomenting a coup.

Mugabe, 93, is the official Zanu-PF candidate in a presidential election which is due by July 2018 at the latest, but is increasingly ailing physically.

President Mugabe and his wife took issue with claims that the VP had eaten poisoned ice cream from their family dairy and they have been complaining in public that Mr Mnangagwa did not try to distance himself from the allegations.

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Mugabe Fires Chinamasa, Weakens Mnangagwa