January 19, 2018 / 7:05 AM / 10 months ago

Zimbabwe ruling party fires 11 Mugabe allies from parliament

FILE PHOTO: Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on after delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Harare, Zimbabwe, December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

HARARE (Reuters) - 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 neighbouring 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.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Michael Perry

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