Robert Mugabe sacks potential leader in reshuffle

Robert Mugabe and his Youth Chairman Kudzanai Chipanga

Robert Mugabe and his Youth Chairman Kudzanai Chipanga

Newly appointed Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Retired Major General Happyton Bonyongwe who joined the struggle at age 15, served in the army after the war of independence and went on to head the Intelligence Department in the President's Office and is an accomplished lawyer in his own right said he is always ready to serve his country whenever requested to do so.

An angry Grace Mugabe departed from a prepared speech at an event in Harare to attack Mr Mnangagwa.

The state-run Herald - seen as the government's official voice - on Tuesday hailed the reshuffle as "a welcome move that would send a reverberating message that the president is fully in control".

"One outcome (of the Cabinet reshuffle) is that without the Justice ministry, (Mr) Mnangagwa loses his role as leader of government business in Parliament", he wrote in his blog. "They should subordinate themselves to him", it said.

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Among those dismissed from their ministerial post, including Mnangagwa was former Labor and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira, who was replaced by President Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, who was the Minister of Youth, Indigenizatiion and Economic Empowerment.

Mnangagwa's statements at a memorial service of former Masvingo Provincial Minister Shuvai Ben Mahofa were immediately rebutted by then Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko, who asserted that the former's had the effect of creating national disharmony.

"This is a Grace Mugabe reshuffle".

"The reshuffle deflates Mnangagwa's plans".

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The possibility of Grace succeeding her husband has sent fear down the spines of many who are alarmed that an even bigger despot could take over from Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe's president.

According to reports, the row comes after Mr Mnangagwa claimed that he was poisoned in August with his supporters suggesting that rivals within Zanu-PF were responsible, although Mr Mnangagwa has distanced himself from such claims.

Mugabe has already been named by ZANU-PF as its presidential candidate for the 2018 poll.

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