Published On: Sun, Nov 19th, 2017

Zimbabwe coup latest: Robert Mugabe FIRED by military chiefs

The 93-year-old despot was formally dismissed at a special meeting attended by senior party officials in the capital Harare.

An official told reporters: “He has been expelled. Mnangagwa is our new leader.” 

Mr Mugabe’s departure has been inevitable since the Zimbabwean military seized power on Wednesday.

Mr Mnangagwa, a former state security chief known as “The Crocodile”, will head an interim post-Mugabe unity government that will focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilising an economy in freefall.

Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Harare yesterday, singing, dancing and hugging soldiers in an outpouring of elation at Mugabe’s overthrow.

Men, women and children ran alongside the armoured cars and troops who stepped in this week to oust the man who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980.

Under house arrest in his lavish Blue Roof residence, Mr Mugabe refused to stand down even as he has watched his support from party, security services and people evaporate in less than three days.

Mugabe’s wife Grace, whose ambitions of succeeding Mr Mugabe into the presidency are thought to have sparked the military’s decision to step in, has also been expelled from the party.

Mr Mnangagwa has been a loyal ally of Mr Mugabe’s since the fight for independence in 1970s and and has a “pretty fearsome reputation”. 

Born in central Zimbabwe in 1942, Mr Mnangagwa grew up to become one of the richest men in Zimbabwe. 

He studied for a law degree while in Zambia, before playing a key role in Zimbabwe’s bid for independence.

He is one of Mr Mugabe’s former guerrilla comrades who joined Mugabe in exile in Mozambique as his special assistant. 

But cracks began to show in their relationship in 2008 when Mr Mugabe’s wife Grace launched the Generation 40 faction of Zanu-PF. 

Mr Mugabe stripped him of the vice=presidency just over a week ago and Mr Mnangagwa fled to South Africa. 

Many believe Mr Mnangagwa then teamed up with General Constantino Chiwenga to get the Mugabes removed.

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