HARARE, Dec 3– Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has for the first time openly accused Vice-President Joice Mujuru of planning to remove him from power and says he has been aware of the plot for a long time.

Addressing war veterans and service chiefs at the ruling Zanu PF party headquarters here Tuesday, President Mugabe said Mujuru worked closely with factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the West in her plans to unconstitutionally remove him from power.

The veterans had called on the president to brief him on recent developments in the veterans’ organization, including to the ouster of former chairman Jabulani Sibanda and his executive and election of a new leadership.

“Unprecedented jostling has been going on. That is what destroys organizations. We are experiencing it for the first time in Zanu PF and for that matter it is a woman who is saying I want to take over that seat,” he added.

President Mugabe said Mujuru solicited funds from the West and held secret meetings with officials from America and Britain, a sign that she was too ‘simplistic’ to take over reins as the country’s leader.

“We know the infiltration that has been going on. They were saying we will work with MDC, Britain and America. That simplistic thinking. You cannot trust the whites,” he said.

Mujuru and her allies who include Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and suspended spokesperson Rugare Gumbo are accused of plotting to assassinate President Mugabe at the party’s
sixth people’s conference which starts on Thursday.

The allegations sparked outrage from Zanu PF members who have vowed that those aligned to VP Mujuru will not be allowed into the congress venue.

President Mugabe said VP Mujuru, just like those who were in the opposition, did not want the country to go for elections when the coalition government expired in 2013