Africa

Zimbabwe opposition leader 'attacked' on campaign trail

Joice Mujuru speaking in front of flags Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mrs Mujuru was once Mr Mugabe's vice-president, but now campaigns against her former party

Former Zimbabwean vice-president Joice Mujuru has been attacked while holding a political rally, her party says.

The opposition National People's Party said Mrs Mujuru and several others were assaulted with rocks while campaigning in a suburb of the capital, Harare.

At least eight people are injured, a party spokesman told the BBC, but Mrs Mujuru's injuries are not serious.

Her party alleges the attack was politically motivated, and carried out by members of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Zimbabwe has undergone rapid political change in the past year, with the departure of former president Robert Mugabe in November, after 37 years in power.

Its new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has promised that elections scheduled for later this year will be fair and free from violence.

Mrs Mujuru was once President Mugabe's heir apparent, serving as vice-president for a decade before she was ousted in 2014, in a move led by Mr Mugabe's wife Grace.

Mrs Mugabe claimed the vice-president was "corrupt, an extortionist, incompetent, a gossiper, a liar and ungrateful". Mrs Mujuru was expelled from Zanu-PF, and became president of the National People's Party.

Her "rainbow coalition" urged the public to vote against the Mugabes' continued reign.

It was because of fears that Grace Mugabe was positioning herself to succeed her 93-year-old husband that led to his ultimate fall from power.

Mrs Mujuru is now challenging Zanu-PF for the presidency.

Mr Mnangagwa, meanwhile, is also a former vice-president of Robert Mugabe, having succeeded Mrs Mujuru in the role.

He is serving the remainder of Mr Mugabe's term ahead of the scheduled mid-year elections.

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