Cape Town – Zimbabwean Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been accused of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe after reports emerged that he allegedly hosted Zanu-PF renegades and suspended party officials at his home in Zvishavane.
Following the release of the picture featuring him and a pro-Zanu-PF musician and businessman Energy Mutodi, the Minister of Higher Education Jonathan Moyo took to his Twitter account lambasting the vice president.
"...Everybody knows that the Boss is Gushungo (Mugabe). One Boss at a time, please! Kumhanya hakusi kusvika veduwe (There is no need to rush).
Mnangwagwa, however, rubbished the insinuations that he wanted to take over from his boss, saying in a statement last week, that there were individuals within Zanu-PF who sought to cause tension between him and Mugabe.
State media said that the mug was part of the numerous presents that Mnangagwa received from Christmas and "took to his rural home unopened".
However, according to reports over the weekend, it had since emerged that the vice president in fact held an event at his home village in Zvishavane, where he hosted at least "two dozen activists who were either suspended or expelled by Zanu-PF".
A report by the privately owned Standard newspaper said that some unnamed commanders from the security forces were also in attendance at the party.
A source close to the development was quoted as saying that the "secret" meeting now dubbed the "Mug-declaration" was called to "coronate Mnangagwa as the new boss in Zanu-PF, who will succeed President Mugabe".
Mnangagwa is currently acting president in the absence of Mugabe who is on holiday with his family in the Far East.
The new pictures of the event showed a smiling Mnangagwa clasping hands with ex-Zanu-PF youth leader Vengai Musengi.
Musengi was expelled from the ruling party for attacking First Lady Grace Mugabe, according to New Zimbabwe.
"It turns out there was in fact a Mug Declaration! It’s worse than the Tsholotsho Declaration. The evidence is overwhelming," a Zanu-PF politburo member was quoted as saying.
The report said that the 2004 Tsholotsho Declaration again featured Mnangagwa and was also claimed to have involved a clandestine plot to engineer his take-over of power from Mugabe.