Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has accused his sacked deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, of consulting traditional healers to find out when the 93-year-old would die, as he schemed to take power, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports.
Mr Mnangagwa first spread rumours that the president intended to retire in March, Mr Mugabe said but “upon realising that I wasn’t, he started to consult traditional healers on when I was going to die”. He added:
At some point, he was told that he would die first before me.”
Addressing thousands of his supporters in the capital, Harare, Mr Mugabe said Mr Mnangagwa lacked “supreme discipline”, and tried to orchestrate “rebellious” behaviour in the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Mr Mugabe fired Mr Mnangagwa – a close comrade of his since the 1970s war for independence – on Monday, in what analysts saw as a move to pave the way for his wife, Grace, to take power when he dies or retires.
Mr Mugabe is expected to appoint her as vice-president.
She has called for Mr Mnangagwa’s expulsion from Zanu-PF, which has been in power since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.