Harare – Zanu-PF will most likely amend its constitution in the next week in order to get rid of vice-president Joice Mujuru following the emergency Zanu-PF politburo meeting which ended in the early hours of Sunday.
But Zanu-PF says it has to put this to its central committee first and it is not clear whether Mujuru, or challenger Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, has the majority support among survivors of the purge in the party which saw many Mujuru loyalists lose their positions.
It’s still a mystery about who might be the other vice-president, a position vacant since the death of John Nkomo a year ago.
“It won’t be Grace (Mugabe) in the position. She is going to be leader of the women’s league as that gives her her place in the politburo to look after the family’s assets as Mugabe loses his powers through age. We would be very surprised if she goes for the VP post.
“It may go to a former senior member of the old Zapu, so that might be Simon Khaya Moyo, who may also keep his present temporary position as spokesman,” said a long-time party observer, who asked not to be quoted on Sunday.
If the central committee makes its decision this week, the Zanu-PF elective congress, which begins on December 2, will be little more than a confirmation process and “speechifying” to “adore Mugabe”, said the source.
The party media, such as the Sunday Mail and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which are openly against Mujuru, say that the moves to change the constitution would avoid the present situation, where there are apparently two centres of power, some supporting Mujuru and others supporting Mugabe.
Mujuru and some of her key supporters are accused of trying to oust Mugabe, 90 – even assassinate him.
He has made it clear he is not about to retire or even provide any succession plan.
“It is extraordinary that what is going on inside Zanu-PF is so far from the reality of Zimbabwe today.
“The party has almost no remaining connection with the majority of the people’s lives,” said veteran political analyst Ibbo Mandaza.
Another veteran former senior Zanu-PF member, who also did not want to be quoted, said: “I have watched the ZBC this week as one after another senior party member was sacked at public events.
“It was deeply humiliating for those getting the chop. So much hate has been distributed around the deep heart of Zanu-PF in the last few weeks.”
Meanwhile, two founding members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party have joined forces and will launch a new political party this week.
Founding MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube, who split from Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC in 2005 mainly over intra-party violence, and his successor, Tendai Biti, who quit the MDC earlier his year, say they will announce a unified new party this week.
Biti and Ncube’s friendship survived the split in the MDC, which cost the opposition an easy win in the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections. The MDC won with a one-seat majority and Tsvangirai was unable to score more than 50 percent of the vote which led to a run-off, from which he withdrew as hundreds of his supporters were killed.
Analysts say the Tsvangirai-led MDC appears to have more supporters in opposition ranks.
Tsvangirai is trying to get parliament to expel Biti and 14 other MPs who won their seat on the main MDC ticket at last year’s elections.
Ncube’s MDC was so small at the last poll that neither he nor any of his candidates won a parliamentary seat. Tsvangirai has 23 MPs loyal to him. – Independent Foreign Service