The frail Zimbabwean president reportedly collapsed after suffering a heart attack in January, according to local press.


However, the move has been challenged by Joice Mujuru, who served as Mr Mugabe’s vice-president for 10 years before being dismissed after she was accused of witchcraft and treachery.

Mrs Mujuru, 60, has launched an opposition party to thwart the president’s wife, who she believes is unfit for higher office.

Mr Mugabe’s former protégée branded the president’s wife as “immature” and inexperienced, casting doubt over whether she could win an election.

Mrs Mujuru told The Times: “She entered the political arena just in 2014.

“You don’t inherit politics from your husband.

“I don’t think the people of Zimbabwe would be very happy.”

Mrs Mujuru’s time as a freedom fighter against white-ruled Rhodesia and her political experience guarantee her a large amount of support.

Mrs Mujuru’s The Zimbabwe People First party that she set up last week is expected to provide stiff competition for the ruling Zanu (PF).

The politician insists she is a democrat despite serving as a dictator’s deputy for a decade.

Mrs Mujuru said she had repeatedly spoken out publicly about Mr Mugabe’s campaigns of violence against opponents.

Mr Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 35 years, dismissed Mrs Mujuru’s opposition party, saying last week in an TV interview that his former deputy would “live in the wilderness, where little ants and other biting insects are destined to live”.

Mrs Mujuru has called for the establishment of a truth and conciliation commission into Zimbabwe’s brutal past.

The politician has also criticised Mr Mugabe’s constantly condemnation of homosexuals, regarded as a bold move in Zimbabwe’s conservative society.

Mrs Mujuru said one of her supporters’ homes was burnt down last Tuesday – a classic Mugabe tactic.

The politician vowed she was not afraid, saying: “If they arrest me they will be campaigning for me”.



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