Zimbabwe's Mugabe Fires Popular Vice President

Despite being widely touted as the obvious successor to the leader, Mnangagwa had been accused by Mugabe loyalists of undermining the president and fanning factionalism in the ZANU-PF.

In true poetic justice, Mnangagwa was today humiliatingly dismissed from the party and his Vice President position exactly in the same circumstances that he celebrated the demise of Mujuru.

An explanation for the move came from Minister of Information Simon Khaya Moyo, who told VOA's Zimbabwe Service that "the vice president has consistently and persistently exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability". In firing former VP Mnangagwa from Government, President Mugabe acted to stop the unconstitutional usurping of his powers by his deputy who had not only become a liability but was increasingly getting risky.

The falling-out and eventual firing of Vice-President Emmerson Mnagagwa has presented a window of opportunity for the opposition in Zimbabwe‚ because they believe he is the missing link in finishing off Zanu PF rule.

President Mugabe is a patient man who does not rush into taking drastic decisions but he must have been tested to his wits' end by the behaviour of hired yobos who disrupted the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe, as she addressed the Bulawayo Youth Interface Rally at White City Stadium on Saturday. I'm speaking from my previous position, I have the evidence, he actually tried to wrestle power from the president.

Mnangagwa becomes the second VP to be relieved of his duties after Joice Mujuru, who now leads opposition party National People's Party, was sacked in 2014 for allegedly plotting to topple Mugabe.

"From the time they organized their (party) constitution, they chose one center of power". Whatever Mugabe does is what works. "Mugabe simply does whatever he wants in that party". "And because they were appointed, they can as the president wishes, be dis-appointed", said Mugabe's own lawyer, Terence Hussein.

"These vice presidents were appointed".

But political analyst, Professor Siphamandla Zondi, says this could backfire for the party.

Grace declared over the weekend that Mnangagwa should be gone from both the government and Zanu-PF before the party's extraordinary congress in December. He denies the accusation.