Zimbabwe Ruling Party Fires 11 Mugabe Allies From Parliament

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FILE - In this Saturday, Feb, 27, 2016, file photo, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe gestures as he delivers his speech during celebrations to mark his 92nd birthday celebrations in Masvingo about 300 kilometres south of Harare. "Do you want me to punch you to the floor to realize I am still there?" The speaker was not a boxer trash-talking before a fight. It was Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who is 92 and known for pugnacious comments. This one, to an interviewer from state TV, was in response to a question about retirement plans and who would succeed him. "Why 'successor' when I am still there?" Mugabe said in the interview aired Thursday night. "Why do you want a successor?" (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party has fired from parliament 11 allies of former leader Robert Mugabe, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa continues a purge of officials that publicly supported his old boss and wife Grace.

Mnangagwa came to power in November after 93-year-old Mugabe was forced to resign following a defacto military coup.

Mnangagwa has spoken against retribution but local media reports say a ZANU-PF restructuring process around the country was targeting those who publicly backed Mugabe and Grace, whose tilt at power resulted in the military intervention.

According to a transcript of parliament procedures from Thursday, deputy speaker of parliament Mabel Chinomona said ZANU-PF had notified the house of assembly that the 11 no longer represented its interests, triggering their dismissal.

Some of the legislators were cabinet ministers in Mugabe’s government. In November ZANU-PF fired five top Mugabe allies from parliament, including Jonathan Moyo, a fiercely combative mouthpiece for a faction that backed Grace Mugabe’s rise.

Many of Mugabe’s political allies were either arrested by the military in a series of spectacular raids in the early hours of Nov. 15 or fled to neighboring countries.

In private, Mnangagwa’s allies worry that some of Mugabe’s supporters could regroup and campaign against the new president in elections that will be held in four to five months.

Moyo told Reuters last week that the international community must help remove the “military government” that has taken power or risk the country descending into chaos.

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