Zimbabwe's Mugabe ruling party fires former deputy Mujuru

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF has expelled former vice president Joice Mujuru, completing the purging from national politics of a woman who only a year ago was seen as frontrunner to succeed the 91-year-old leader.

Mujuru lost her positions in the party and government in December and had become an ordinary ZANU-PF member.

ZANU-PF spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo said in a statement that the ruling party’s top decision-making organ politburo had on Thursday agreed to dismiss Mujuru.

The party cited at least 10 reasons for dismissing Mujuru, which include plotting to remove Mugabe from office, alleged corruption and bringing the party into disrepute, charges which she has previously denied.

“The politburo felt that she lacked the quality of strong moral principles, honesty and decency and therefore ceases to be a member of ZANU-PF,” Moyo said.

Mujuru, the 59-year-old former guerrilla leader known as “Spill Blood” during the liberation war and a permanent face in Mugabe’s previous governments since independence in 1980, was not immediately available to comment on her dismissal.

Mugabe, who has not indicated a preferred political heir, replaced Mujuru with Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of his most trusted lieutenants who has served at his side through five decades of prison, guerrilla war and post-liberation government.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Hugh Lawson