7 November 2017

Zimbabwe: Zim Journos Caught in Hoax Mugabe Invite for Ed's Sacking

Over a dozen local journalists were Monday turned away from State House by security following a hoax call to a President Robert Mugabe press briefing intended to announce the sacking of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

VP Mnangagwa has had a turbulent past few months with the first family persistently accusing him of sponsoring an elaborate plot to dislodge President Mugabe.

This involved a poisoning scare at the Gwanda youth interface rally August this year that saw the VP hospitalised for a full week in a South African hospital.

But with the embattled VP seemingly tagging along while taking the blows quietly, things came to a head weekend when President Mugabe threatened to throw him out of his government.

This was after part of the crowd that attended his White City rally defiantly booed his wife, Grace with clear signs some party rivals sympathetic to Mnangagwa were out to embarrass the first family.

With things climaxing into a Mnangagwa lynching, rumours swirled on Monday the President had finally decided to give his once trusted aide the boot while an announcement was billed to be made same day.

The Chris Mutsvangwa led war veterans, likewise, had sharpened their knives, by calling for a press briefing to respond to the shock developments.

But there was a big anti-climax to matters when the press briefings did not take place.

"I can see that you have all turned up in your numbers but there is nothing like a press conference called by anyone here," said a central intelligence official who was among some security details manning the gate to State House.

It is not the first time in a space of a month for journalists to respond to a hoax call for a press briefing by the 93-year-old leader.

Sometime last month, journalists ran to State House for what was meant to be the announcement of a cabinet reshuffle by President Mugabe and it also turned out to be a hoax.


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