Axe falls on more Zim ministers

2014-12-22 08:34

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has fired another two cabinet ministers and five deputy ministers in what appears to be an ongoing purge of ruling party officials sympathetic to former vice-president Joice Mujuru.

The removal of Flora Buka, minister of state for presidential affairs, and Sylvester Nguni, minister of state in the office of Mujuru, was announced yesterday in a statement from the chief secretary to the president and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda.

Mugabe (90) is currently on a month’s vacation following a turbulent four months in his Zanu-PF party that culminated in the firing of 59-year-old Mujuru and a number of party stalwarts earlier this month.

They have been accused of conspiring to oust or even kill the longtime Zimbabwean leader.

Officials had warned more top party officials would face the axe in an unfolding political drama that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago.

Analysts say Mujuru’s huge popularity within the ruling party represented too much of a threat to Mugabe’s hold on power.

Mugabe’s wife Grace – who is now head of the party’s powerful women’s league – spearheaded a vitriolic campaign against Mujuru in October and November.

Mujuru has been replaced as first vice-president by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose faction has been battling to sideline the widow of former army commander Solomon Mujuru for the last 10 years.

Yetserday’s seven were fired because “it had become apparent that their conduct and performance were below the expected standard and outcome”.

“Finally fired,” said Deputy Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Fortune Chasi in a laconic tweet.

Reaction to the sacking was swift on social media.

“So Bob can still fire ministers from 10 000km away in the Far East?” asked columnist for the private Zimbabwean newspaper @JeraZW.

“Best soapie of the year,” said Twitter user @mzidube26.

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