Robert Mugabe has been removed as leader of the ruling ZANU-PF Party. Zimbabwe war veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa said he has been replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy who he sacked earlier this month. Delegates at a special Zanu-PF meeting held to decide his fate said: ‘He has been expelled. Mnangagwa is our new fresh leader.’
Three other people also confirmed the dismissal. A party source said that his wife Grace, who beared ambitions of succeeding the ruler, was also sacked from the party. The Zimbabwean President has effectively already seen his power removed after the army seized control of the country on Wednesday and has been under pressure to step down.
He has been under house arrest since last week’s de facto coup and was expected to have a meeting with generals on Sunday to agree the terms of his departure.
The relief of power was brought about in a bid to force him to end his 37 years in power peacefully. Speaking before the meeting, Mr Mutsvangwa said the 93-year-old was short of time to negotiate his departure and should leave the country while he could. ‘He’s trying to bargain for a dignified exit,’ he said.
He followed up with a threat to call for street protests if Mugabe refused to go, telling reporters: ‘We will bring back the crowds and they will do their business.’ Mr Mutsvangwa is a former state security chief known as ‘The Crococodile’ and is now in line to head a post-Mugabe unity government.
The government will hope to focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilising an economy in free fall. On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators rallied in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare to call for Mugabe to quit immediately after nearly four decades in power. People in Harare clambered on to tanks and other military vehicles moving slowly through the crowds, danced around soldiers walking in city streets and surged in their thousands towards State House, Mr Mugabe’s official residence.