In a statement from his new base in South Africa after skipping the country on Tuesday evening, Mnangagwa, for the first time, openly challenged Mugabe and First Lady Grace, saying they were "resident in the past" and hindering the progress of Zimbabweans.
"I will go nowhere. I will fight tooth and nail against those making a mockery of Zanu-PF's founding principles, ethos and values," the former VP declared yesterday.
"You (Mugabe) and your cohorts will, instead, leave Zanu-PF by the will of the people and this, we will do in the coming few weeks as Zimbabweans in general now require new and progressive leadership that is not resident in the past and refuses to accept change."
Mnangagwa, without specifying how he intends to achieve the change, said he would soon be back in the country to control all levers of power.
"As I leave this post (VP) for now, I encourage all loyal members of the party to remain in the party, to register to vote, as we will, very soon, control the levers of power in our beautiful party and country. Let not your hearts be troubled for peace, love, unity, development and prosperity are around the corner. I will be communicating with you soon and shall return to Zimbabwe to lead you," the Zanu-PF Midlands godfather said.
Mnangagwa, who plans to make a media briefing next week, called on all party supporters to resist manoeuvres by Mugabe and wife to privatise both Zimbabwe and Zanu-PF.
"Fellow Zimbabweans and specifically members of Zanu-PF, the time is now to say no to demigods and people that are self-centred and only think of themselves and their families."Let us bury our differences and rebuild a new and prosperous Zimbabwe, a country that is tolerant to divergent views, a country that respects opinion of others, a country that does not isolate itself from the rest of the world because of one stubborn individual who believes he is entitled to rule this country until death," Mnangagwa said.
The ousted VP left the country on Tuesday night by air following numerous alleged threats on his life and that of his family.
"I would like my fellow citizens to know that I am out of the country, and safe. My sudden departure was caused by incessant threats on my person, life and family by those who have attempted before through various forms of elimination, including poisoning," he said.
Mnangagwa also accused Mugabe and Grace of destabilising the country by defending corrupt people and externalising foreign currency.
"I remain firm and resolute against those who plunder public funds and are used by foreign countries to destabilise the party. These same people are brazenly protected in public by the First Lady, thereby making a mockery of our public institutions.
"I stand prepared once again to pay the ultimate price in defence of Zimbabwe. I am not afraid of anyone or worried about my political future under the current 'party capture' that is being tolerated and condoned by the First family. I implore all genuine members of Zanu-PF to reject this 'party' capture by a few individuals as I, hereby, do unequivocally," he said.
A close family member said Mnangagwa had only been silent out of respect for Mugabe, whom he has served for over 50 years.
"He was working towards reviving the economy and progressively re-engaging the world, despite numerous calls from many quarters for him to stand against Mugabe. He has refused and said he held high respect for his former boss although he knew the things that Mugabe was doing were wrong," a family member said.
Zanu-PF spokesperson and Information minister, Simon Khaya Moyo could not be reached for comment as he was attending a politburo meeting, while presidential spokesperson George Charamba was not answering his phone.
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