What you need to know:
- The 79-year-old authoritarian revolutionist and politician has served as President of Zimbabwe since 24 November 2017.
Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa has handed over power to the vice-president for three weeks as he began his annual leave on Thursday.
“HE President @edmnangagwa started his annual leave on January 13, 2022. His vacation runs until February 5, 2022. Honourable Vice President Dr C.D.G.N Chiwenga is Acting President during this period,” the country’s Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting tweeted Friday.
Mnangagwa’s vacation will be spent in the country, according to the statement.
The 79-year-old authoritarian revolutionist and politician has served as President of Zimbabwe since 24 November 2017. A member of ZANU–PF and a longtime ally of former President Robert Mugabe, he held a series of cabinet portfolios and was Mugabe's Vice President until November 2017, when he was dismissed before coming to power in a coup d'état. He secured his first full term as president in the disputed 2018 general election.
Mnangagwa’s vacation comes four days after he sacked his state security minister Owen Ncube for "inappropriate" behaviour.
In a terse statement Mnangagwa's office said on Monday that the president "removed (Ncube) with immediate effect for conduct inappropriate for a minister of government".
No further details were given.
Appointed minister in 2018, Ncube was widely seen as a close ally of the president.
In 2019 he was placed under US sanctions over the government's crackdown on protests and the opposition.
Last year Britain slapped sanctions on him and three other Zimbabwean officials following the deaths of more than a dozen people protesting against Mnangagwa's regime.