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Sacked Zimbabwe VP in exile, vows to defy Mugabe

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Mugabe Knifes VP, Could Install Wife

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, centre, smiles as he arrives for a a solidarity rally in Harare, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017.

Hundreds of supporters marched to the party's headquarters in what they said was a show of solidarity for President Mugabe and his wife Grace.

"We have completely disowned Mugabe", says the statement issued Wednesday in Johannesburg by war veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa.

Zimbabwe's former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sacked by President Robert Mugabe this week, is safe and will travel to South Africa "very soon", the head of the war veterans Chris Mutsvangwa said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile senior party officials took turns to address the crowd all of them denouncing former Vice President Mnangagwa.

The war veterans' statement used language similar to that used by Mr Mugabe's guerrillas during their fight against white minority-ruled Rhodesia in the 1970s.

Zimbabwe's sacked vice president has claimed he left the country after receiving threats - but vowed to return to lead the nation.

"I would like my fellow citizens to know that I am now out of the country, and safe", he said without indicating which country he had escaped to.

Mnangagwa was the leading contender to succeed Mugabe, 93, but his abrupt removal appeared to clear the way for Grace to take over.

The apparent hounding of the influential politician into exile by President Mugabe has brought anxiety in a country already buffeted by years of economic, social and political instability.

Mr Mnangagwa replaced Joice Mujuru, who had been ousted and accused by Mr Mugabe of using witchcraft to take power.

"The President had warned his deputy time and again to desist from having grand designs to seize power unconstitutionally", the Bulawayo-based paper said.

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