East Africa

Zimbabwe’s president takes three-week break


Summary

  • There are reports that the president and his deputy are embroiled in a vicious power struggle after President Mnangagwa allegedly reneged on a deal to only serve for one term and hand over the reins to his deputy.
  • President Mnangagwa took a break a few days after firing his State Security Minister Owen Ncube amid allegations of worsening infighting in his ruling Zanu PF party.
  • Mr Ncube, who was a close ally of the president, was accused of engineering intra-party violence in Zanu PF during internal elections in President Mnangagwa’s Midlands province.
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By KITSEPILE NYATHI


Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has taken a three-week break, handing over his duties to his deputy, his office said on Friday.

The 79 year-old ruler will remain in the country during his annual vacation, which began on Thursday and runs until February 5.

“During this period, Honourable Vice President, General (Retired) (Constantino) Chiwenga is acting president,” Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba said in a brief statement.

On Twitter, Mr Charamba added, “He will spend the break in the country, largely at his farm.”

President Mnangagwa took a break a few days after firing his State Security Minister Owen Ncube amid allegations of worsening infighting in his ruling Zanu PF party.

Mr Ncube, who was a close ally of the president, was accused of engineering intra-party violence in Zanu PF during internal elections in President Mnangagwa’s Midlands province.

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A fortnight ago Zanu PF held its first internal elections since the ouster of its long-time leader Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup.

The polls were marred by allegations of massive rigging by different factions, and violence.

The 2017 coup catapulted President Mnangagwa, a long-time confidante of Mr Mugabe, into power.

Gen Chiwenga was the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces  at the time of the coup.

There are reports that the two are embroiled in a vicious power struggle after President Mnangagwa allegedly reneged on a deal to only serve for one term and hand over the reins to his deputy.

Unlike Mr Mugabe, who spent his month-long vacations mainly in Malaysia and Singapore, President Mnangagwa usually does not travel outside the country.

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