Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

Harare - A Zimbabwean lawmaker has been expelled from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party for calling the 87-year-old leader “old”, the party announced Thursday.

Tracy Mutinhiri now risks losing her parliamentary seat for the Marondera East constituency, and her position as deputy labour minister in the power-sharing government.

“It was unanimously agreed that she should be dismissed from the party with immediate effect,” Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo was by the official Herald daily as saying.

Mutinhiri was charged with being disloyal to Zanu-PF, and bringing the party into disrepute. She is alleged to have told party members in Mashonaland East province that former opposition leader and current premier, Morgan Tsvangirai, would be the next president as “President Mugabe was old”.

She was also accused of failing to attend party meetings and of failing to discharge her duties as a party representative. Gumbo said the politburo took the decision to expel Mutinhiri on the recommendation of the Zanu-PF national disciplinary committee.

Mugabe has been in power for 31 years. He still wields most of the authority in a two-year-old power sharing government with Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change. - Sapa-dpa