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Mugabe plans to boot ZDF boss amid Zanu-PF power struggle

21 December 2015, 15:47Cindy Pierce

Harare - As power struggles within Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party intensify, it has been revealed that President Robert Mugabe is planning to retire Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Constantine Chiwenga.

High-ranking officials within the Zimbabwean government have confirmed this suspicion, saying that Chiwenga could soon be on his way out, due to his dabbing in the ruling party's affairs and ongoing succession battle, The Independent reported.

Chiwenga has recently thrown his weight behind Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose faction is in direct opposition with that of First Lady Grace Mugabe, the report said.

Officials close to Mugabe, 91, have revealed that the nonagenarian is unhappy with Chiwenga's meddling and is thus determined to ensure that his party remains on course to the next election.

Officials have named Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda as Chiwenga's suspcted replacement.

Sources within Zimbabwe's military have revealed that Chiwenga is suspected of having presidential aspirations, although Mnangagwa has since disputed this, All Africa reported recently.

Mnangagwa disclosed in a recent interview that his struggle credentials and service to Zanu-PF make him a natural candidate for Mugabe's successor, although he faces tough opposition from the First Lady and her allies.

It remains to be seen when Chiwenga's anticipated sacking will take place but many officials believe it could be as soon as the beginning of next year or as late as the 2018 national elections. Only time will tell.

- News24


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