Home » Governance » Mugabe Appoints New Vice-Presidents As Zanu-PF Succession Battle Continues

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has ended weeks of speculation by naming his two new vice-presidents. Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa was promoted to the post of first vice-president, while former ambassador to South Africa Phelekezela Mphoko was named second vice-president.

The appointment is a special triumph for Mnangagwa, who has battled for a decade to try to regain the upper hand in the succession wars in the ruling Zanu-PF party.

His main rival was former vice-president Joice Mujuru, who was officially sacked on Tuesday.

Mnangagwa, 68, whose nickname is “The Crocodile”, is considered more hard-line than Mujuru, who was fired on Tuesday in an unprecedented move by Mugabe.

State media and First Lady Grace Mugabe have waged a relentless verbal war on Mujuru over the past two months.

She was accused of corruption and plotting to assassinate the Zimbabwean leader, who has been in power since 1980.

Mnangagwa had said nothing in public about Mujuru until the ruling party congress last weekend, when he chanted “Down with Enemies!”.

Mnangagwa will be sworn in on Friday.

If Mugabe stands down or dies before his term ends, the new first vice-president is likely to step into his shoes.

But in a sign ruling party battles for power might not yet be over, state radio said last night that Mnangagwa had been the target of an attempted assassination earlier in the day.

According to the radio, police said someone had put an unidentified poisonous substance in Mnangagwa’s office on Wednesday and his secretary had had to go to hospital.

Source : Radio France Internationale