Grace Mugabe’s G40 faction suffered a setback this month when she was accused of assaulting a 20-year-old South African model with an electric cable in a luxury Johannesburg hotel.
Grace Mugabe made no public comment on the incident, but her supporters said the allegations were unsubstantiated.
Pretoria granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity, allowing her to avoid prosecution; the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s main opposition party, is challenging that immunity in court.
Some diplomats in Harare say the United States and European Union are opposed to the idea of Britain backing Mnangagwa because they are concerned about being ostracized by ZANU-PF and its G40 faction should events unravel and go against Mnangagwa.
The British embassy in Harare said it had taken no steps to influence the succession to Mugabe, and that rumors were spreading disinformation.
A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy said it did not back any candidate or party.
The European Union ambassador in Harare, Philippe Van Damme, said in an emailed statement that the bloc, including the UK, does not support any political party or faction in Zimbabwe, but does support reforms “no matter who delivers them”.
This special report was prepared by Reuters