President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on Monday fired Emmerson Mnangagwa as vice president, Information Minister Simon Moyo said.
Mnangagwa, a 75-year-old former intelligence chief, has been heavily-criticised by supporters of Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who has also been touted as a potential successor to her husband.
Moyo said Mnangagwa had exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect and deceitfulness.
Mnangagwa was appointed vice-president in 2014, taking over from Joice Muguru, who was axed after Grace launched a campaign accusing her of plotting to topple the president.
Mugabe’s wife accused Mnangagwa of a dark past of clandestine plots, including planning to stage a coup around the time of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.
“In 1980 this person called Mnangagwa wanted to stage a coup. He wanted to wrestle power from the president.
“He was conspiring with whites. That man is a ravisher,” said Grace.
Inspite of his advanced age and concerns over his health, Mugabe has refused to name a successor.
He has been endorsed as his party’s candidate for next year’s election.