Mugabe says may make cabinet changes next week

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Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said on Saturday he may make changes to his cabinet next week, at a time of rising tensions within his ruling party over who will eventually takeover from him.

Mugabe told a meeting of the ruling ZANU-PF youth wing in Harare that it was time to review the performance of his cabinet ministers.

The last cabinet reshuffle was in September 2015 when Mugabe was removing allies of his former deputy Joice Mujuru, whom he fired in December 2014 over accusations that she was plotting to topple him. She denied the allegations.

“Next week there might be some changes in government. Should we remain with the same team or we make changes or even discard some. So that exercise I will be doing it and early next week you will get the results,” Mugabe told a meeting of his ZANU-PF youth wing.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a frontrunner to take over from Mugabe, said on Thursday he had been posined in August when he fell ill and was airlifted to South Africa, which earned him a public rebuke from First Lady Grace Mugabe.

ZANU-PF is divided into two camps, one supporting Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe and another rallying behind Grace.

Mugabe also castigated his senior party officials for fighting in public, saying this would weaken ZANU-PF and embolden the opposition ahead of elections next year.

“And the public insults, it’s a shame. A shame even to our legend because our party was not built on that basis. A party which has learnt that if we are divided then we become the food of vultures outside,” Mugabe said.