Mugabe flips prophet card
In hiding: President accuses fired deputy of consulting witchdoctors
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says the route to leadership is long and full of "pitfalls and death".
Addressing supporters in Harare, Mugabe, 93, accused his fired deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa of consulting witchdoctors as part of a "short cut" to grab the presidency.
Mnangagwa, sacked by Mugabe on Monday and expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF party, is reported to have fled Zimbabwe because of death threats.
"You should not try to say because the journey is long, then I should take a short cut to arrive quickly. The road has lions. There are pitfalls. There is death, beware," Mugabe said.
Zanu-PF would move to discipline Mnangagwa's "co-conspirators", Mugabe added.
The head of the influential War Veterans Association, Chris Mutsvangwa, said Mnangagwa, 75, was "safe and beyond the reach of the assassins" and would soon be travelling to Johannesburg.
In a statement earlier this week, Mnangagwa said: "My sudden departure was caused by threats on my person, life and family by those who have attempted before through elimination, including poisoning."
Mutsvangwa ruled out trying to remove Mugabe by force and said war veterans, who had publicly backed Mnangagwa and broke ranks with the president last year, would form a broad front with the opposition in elections next year.
"We don't want to abuse the military to resolve a political problem. We don't want them to become the arbiter of political power," Mutsvangwa said.