Zimbabwe VP denies plotting Mugabe ouster

2014-10-26 19:44
Zimbabwe's vice president Joice Mujuru (AFP)

Zimbabwe's vice president Joice Mujuru (AFP)

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Harare - Zimbabwe's Vice President Joice Mujuru on Sunday rejected "false claims" that she is plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe ahead of a ruling party congress in December.

"Like any human being I have my own weaknesses, but people should not make false claims about me," Mujuru told hundreds of supporters at a party to celebrate her obtaining a doctorate in commerce.

"The hardships caused by [Western] sanctions are bad enough. Why would I add to the woes with my own sanctions? No! No! I will never be a traitor," Mujuru said.

Mugabe's wife Grace claimed in mid-October that Mujuru was threatening to tear the ruling Zanu-PF party apart and plotting to overthrow the president.

Grace Mugabe called on Mujuru to resign or be forced to step aside.

Mujuru and powerful Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa - who in the past controlled the secret police and military - are seen as the leading contenders to replace the 90-year-old Mugabe.

Zanu-PF has been riven by factional feuding over a successor to the veteran leader, in power since 1980.

The battle escalated following Grace Mugabe's surprise nomination to lead the powerful women's wing of Zanu-PF, amid speculation that she could be aiming to take over from her husband when he steps down or dies.

Robert Mugabe is expected to be confirmed as the party's leader at the congress, but the fight for positions on the powerful politburo could be decisive for the campaign to succeed him.

Mugabe, his close aides and their companies have been subject to European Union and US sanctions for undermining democracy.

Once seen as a post-colonial role model, Zimbabwe has been in a downward economic spiral since thousands of white-owned farms were seized under a controversial land reform programme in 2000.

Read more on:    joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  grace mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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