Zimbabwe defense minister sues local newspaper over succession article

Zimbabwe state media says the defense minister is suing an independent newspaper for alleging that he wants to succeed the country's president.

The state-run Herald said Wednesday Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has filed a $1 million lawsuit against Zimbabwe Independent, a weekly newspaper, for defamation over an article it published in May which quoted him saying he is "ready to rule" Zimbabwe if given the opportunity.

Mnangagwa, a politician from President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party alleges the article inferred that he is a leader of a faction involved in "power struggles" with other party officials to succeed Mugabe.

The 88-year-old President Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

Mnangagwa is touted as a strong leader of a faction poised to take over from Mugabe.