Zimbabwe's former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa could be charged with treason following his expulsion this week on allegations of undermining President Robert Mugabe, 93, a report says.
Mnangagwa, who fled the country soon after he was fired from his post, issued a strong worded statement in which he denigrated the nonagenarian.
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Mnangagwa vowed to return and lead the ruling Zanu-PF and the country. He did not, however, mention how he planned on taking over power from the veteran leader.
This, according to NewsDay, had led to the formulation of treason charges against the ex-deputy president.
An unnamed government source said that the former Mugabe ally could be charged with "conspiracy to overthrow a constitutionally-elected government".
Death sentence or life in prison
The report quoted the Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo as confirming that various arms of the state security were studying Mnangagwa's statement, adding that "an announcement on the appropriate action would be made shortly".
A treason charge attracted a death sentence or life in prison in the southern African country.
Meanwhile, the privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent reported that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had pulled together a special unit to investigate crimes that were allegedly committed by Mnangagwa during his tenure in government.
The charges against Mnangagwa included the obstruction of justice, corruption, attempted murder and murder.
According to the unnamed sources, police were closing in on four cases of alleged murder that implicated the exiled ex-deputy president.
"Some of the specific cases include the alleged murder of a woman linked to the former vice-president, attempted murder of former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation news presenter Godfrey Majonga, looting of Zanu-PF companies and the Kwekwe goldfields deals and associated murders there," said the report.