Harare - A Zimbabwean minister has claimed that the country's former freedom fighters are plotting a "surprise" move that would see President Robert Mugabe being ousted, reports NewsDay.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Mandi Chimene said this following the war veteran's motion of "no confidence" against Vice President Phekezela Mphoko over the weekend.
The former liberation fighters passed a vote of no confidence against Mphoko and a host of other senior party officials linked to the Generation 40 (G40) faction, which is reportedly aligned to First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The war veterans accused Mphoko of fanning factionalism and tribalism within the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Chimene, however, claimed that the motion was being used as a "smoke-screen" in order to get rid of president Mugabe, 92.
She reportedly claimed that the ousted war veteran minister Christopher Mutsvangwa was behind the plot.
"These are indicators to pass a vote of no-confidence against the president. We can see that he (Mutsvangwa) is not interested in Mphoko, but president Mugabe. They are hiding behind Mphoko, but their target is president Mugabe...," Chimene was quoted as saying.
Mutsvangwa was, however, quick to rebuff the claims, saying Chimene was a "desperate and inveterate liar".
This came as the battles to succeed Mugabe intensified.
In February, Mutsvangwa accused what he called "newcomers" of fomenting divisions within Zanu-PF.
The former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association boss alleged that the G40 was destroying the party.