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Vol 56 No 17

Published 20th August 2015


Zimbabwe

The 'Grace plot' thickens

The First Lady’s rivals are airing suspicions of a master plan to make her leader of the party and then, of the country

President Robert Mugabe has assembled a cabal to ensure that his wife Grace succeeds him as head of state, senior government and ruling party sources linked to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa have told Africa Confidential. The plan is to make her President of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, they say. She would then lead ZANU-PF into the 2018 polls. Mnangagwa, who has long aimed to succeed Mugabe and prevailed over Vice-President Joice Mujuru in his factional battle for the number two spot, was 'dejected' by news of the plan, a top intelligence official told us. Both he and his co-Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, who emerged from obscurity to take over the party and state positions reserved for former Patriotic Front-Zimbabwe African People's Union cadres, were instructed to support Grace's bid for power, probably around the time of the celebrations for President Mugabe's 91st birthday in February.

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