Sacked Zim VP finally expelled from Zanu-PF - state TV

Harare - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ruling party on Thursday finally resolved to expel former vice president Joice Mujuru, more than three months after she was sacked from the job, state ZBC television reported.

"She was plotting to unconstitutionally remove the president," ZBC said, citing a disciplinary report.

Mugabe's Soviet-style politburo took the decision at a meeting in Harare earlier in the day. First Lady Grace Mugabe, who led a vitriolic campaign against Mujuru ahead of a Zanu-PF congress in December, was at the politburo meeting - the first time she has been seen in public for some time.

Mujuru, the 59-year-old widow of army general Solomon Mujuru, made history when she became Zimbabwe's first ever female vice president in 2004. She was seen as a moderate member of Zanu-PF.

Analysts say her popularity was her downfall. Ageing Mugabe, who is now 91, allegedly feared she could unseat him and was intent on retaining control of his country and his party.

The long-time president and his supporters insist Mujuru plotted to oust - and even kill - Mugabe. She denies those allegations.

Out in the cold

After Mujuru was ousted, Mugabe had suggested that she would simply become an ordinary card-carrying member of Zanu-PF, with more time to "grow maize and potatoes".

But Thursday's politburo resolution means she is finally out in the cold.

The television said that Zanu-PF's secretary for legal affairs Patrick Chinamasa had presented a disciplinary report containing 10 allegations against Mujuru to the politburo.

The allegations included "collaborating with the enemy and "behaving in a manner that was unbecoming of a vice president", an apparent reference to claims from Grace Mugabe that Mujuru once wore a mini-skirt.

"As a result of these allegations the politburo concluded that she lacks the moral standing and status to be a member of the ruling party,” ZBC said.

Prosecutors so far appear unable to pin any crime on Mujuru. At the weekend state media suggested she could face arrest and imprisonment for refusing to register her late husband's will.

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