Gweru - Zimbabwe's former freedom fighters have passed a vote of no confidence in Deputy President Phekezela Mphoko, accusing him of fanning factionalism and tribalism within the ruling Zanu-PF party, reports NewsDay.
At a meeting in Gweru, the fifth largest city in the country, the former liberation fighters also passed a vote of no confidence in a host of other senior party officials, including Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo and President Robert Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwao.
This came as battles to succeed Mugabe, who has been at the helm for more than 35 years, intensified.
In February, the war veteran’s ousted minister Chris Mutsvangwa accused what he called "newcomers" of fomenting divisions within Zanu-PF.
The former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association boss alleged that a faction within Zanu-PF, known as Generation 40 (G40), was destroying the party, with individuals positioning themselves to succeed the 92-year-old Mugabe.
G40 is reportedly against Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa ascending to the presidency.
Local media reports have indicated that Mphoko was also a member of the G40.
Mphoko was appointed one of the country's two vice presidents soon after the ousting of Joice Mujuru 14 months ago.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya, said the freedom fighters were unapologetic about their stance against Mphoko.
"…We are the foundation of the party and the party must take what we say very seriously. The vote of no-confidence has been passed and must be executed, that is what we expect," Mahiya was cited saying.
According to reports, the ruling party was torn apart by factions, with Mugabe even admitting to it in December last year. Mugabe warned, at the time, that the party could be split if the factions were not resolved properly.
Mugabe was expected to meet with the war veterans next month.