Plot to topple Mujuru thickens

via Plot to topple Mujuru thickens – The Zimbabwe Independent 3 October 2014 by Elias Mambo/Owen Gagare

THE plot within Zanu PF to oust Vice-President Joice Mujuru from her position and change the dynamics of President Robert Mugabe’s fierce succession battle ahead of the party’s elective congress in December is thickening amid indications she is slowly losing ground in critical structures, including the decision-making politburo.

There are also growing indications the faction led by her long-time bitter rival, Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa will field a candidate to challenge Mujuru in December where all positions in the presidium — those of the president, the two deputies and chairperson — are up for grabs.

This comes at a time when everything within government and party seems to be interpreted to have a factional dimension.

This week Mujuru found herself in hot soup over allegations which would have ordinarily been ignored outside the succession race.
Official sources say a clique in Zanu PF and the Office of the President and Cabinet has accused Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri of openly backing Mujuru and giving her “presidential treatment” as reflected by an invitation she received to attend a pass-out parade at the Morris Depot Green Square last week.

Whereas there is nothing wrong with Mujuru, cabinet ministers or senior government officials presiding over police graduation parades, officials say the invitation card sent out to
graduation parades, officials say the invitation card sent out to Mujuru for the occasion was designed for the head of state.

The invitation card, dated September 25, was colourful and reflected the gold and blue police colours. It had Mujuru’s picture, the Zimbabwean flag, the Zimbabwe Republic Police flag and police emblem, although other officials normally receive ordinary blue cards with no pictures and emblems on them.

The officials said in the past such invitations were reserved only for the president.

“Mujuru was elevated and given the same status as the president, which is a very big statement from the police,” said one government official.

However, the police denied Chihuri or anybody in their senior ranks was linked to the Mujuru faction. The incident showed how Mujuru is now being pressured at every turn ahead of congress in December.

Ever since First Lady Grace Mugabe entered the Zanu PF political fray, after she was nominated by the Women’s League to be their boss, Mujuru has been on the back foot with Mugabe increasingly siding with Mnangagwa.

Sources said even in the politburo on Wednesday, Mugabe showed willingness to agree with the Mnangagwa faction on the former Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono issue even if the ex-central bank boss is thought to be his banker, family friend and close advisor.

Zanu PF insiders say the Mnangagwa group is currently discussing who to field to run against Mujuru at the congress. Three candidates being proposed include Mnangagwa, former Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri and, remotely, Grace Mugabe herself.

The party insiders say Mnangagwa will only challenge Mujuru if he sees greater prospects of winning. This, they say, can be achieved if Zanu PF agrees to a secret ballot system which Mnangagwa himself is personally demanding.

“Mnangagwa will only enter the race if he sees that there are greater prospects of clinching that post; only if he is sure and if they agree to use the secret ballot system at the congress,” a top party official said.

Mnangagwa announced last month Zanu PF congress elections would be held through secret ballot.

“That is what the constitution says. If you read the constitution, it says delegates at the congress will vote through the one-man-one-vote system. That is what the party has been doing since 1963,” Mnangagwa said.

However, the Zanu PF constitution does not say that. The Mujuru faction fears this is part of plans to rig Mujuru out of the race.

Muchinguri is reportedly more than willing to challenge Mujuru. Things have changed from 2009 when she received one nomination from Masvingo province for the vice-presidency. The ground has since shifted in her favour after she led the campaign for Grace’s endorsement as the Women’s League boss.

Some in Mnangagwa’s camp are openly suggesting Grace should be elevated to the presidium. Former deputy Youth League secretary Edson Chakanyuka, Zanu PF MP for Gokwe-Nembudziya, Justice Mayor Wadyajena, and Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha, are leading calls for the First Lady to occupy a senior position in the party.

At a meeting in his constituency last month, Wadyajena said: “As a party we are delighted that she has attained the highest level (her PhD degree) of education expected and she has done so at a time the Women’s League has endorsed her to be their boss. The sky should be the limit for her. No one should stand in the way.”
Dinha said in Mazowe recently: “Come December, take any position of your choice!”

It seems Grace is not just eyeing the Women’s League position, but something even higher. Yesterday, she formerly launched her campaigns in Chinhoyi raising suspicion she could be gunning for a higher electable position, not the Women’s League one in which she will be appointed by the president.

In addition to the aggressive onslaught from the Mnangagwa faction, Mujuru is getting a hammering from the state media, especially Zimpapers’ daily flagship, the Herald, which is openly hostile to her camp. The issue of the Herald and other state media outlets has been discussed in Zanu PF politburo meetings, including on Wednesday even though no title was mentioned by name.

Compared to 2012 and last year when she had little trouble pushing her positions through the politburo, Mujuru now appears to have her back against the wall.

While she faces a rebellion in Mashonaland Central where politburo member Saviour Kasukuwere is openly fighting her, her kingpins in Harare and Mashonaland West, including chairpersons Amos Midzi and Temba Mliswa respectively, are under fire. Her biggest ally, Didymus Mutasa, and politburo member Tendai Savanhu are also in the firing line.

A senior politburo official said: “President Mugabe (at the politburo meeting) took a swipe at Savanhu, Midzi and Christopher Chigumba over Harare provincial issues.”

Last month, the Harare Zanu PF provincial leadership was accused of trying to block Grace after she was endorsed to take over the Women’s League top post at congress.

Upon his return from a state visit to China, Mugabe fumed at the provincial leadership led by Midzi for trying to frustrate his wife menacingly asking, “where this emperor from Harare is getting his powers?”

At the peak of her power, for instance in 2012 ,when she successfully pushed for the disbandment of the district co-ordinating committees and last year when she managed to have the controversial results of provincial executive elections marred by irregularities upheld, Mujuru seemed shoo-in to replace Mugabe, but now things appear tough-and-go.

Wednesday’s politburo meeting was the first time her faction failed to get its way on the Gono issue in which Mutasa fought hard without success. The Mujuru faction was pushing for Gono to replace former politburo and cabinet member Kumbirai Kangai who died in August last year. Initially, the Mujuru faction forced a politburo resolution for Gono to become senator, but the Mnangagwa camp blocked the move, showing the Vice-President could be losing control in the body where she used to rule the roost.

However, party insiders say despite all these manoeuvres by Mnangagwa, it may be too late to mount a successful campaign against Mujuru who still has a strong grip on party structures.


  • comment-avatar
    Swagman 8 years ago

    None of this matters –
    Zimbabweans will never
    allow another ZANU-PF
    Government, no matter what!

  • comment-avatar
    wethu 8 years ago

    Mugabe’s tactics of divide and rule….when he feels a faction is gaining too much ground, he curtails it. Not that it matters.

  • comment-avatar
    Baba Jukwa's Tokolshe 8 years ago

    Zanu is now a troop of baboons fighting over who will be the Big Brother Baboon. Such is the style of the Tokoloshe.

  • comment-avatar

    Enough of this already.

    Maybe these Reporters can go back to telling us how the economy is doing?
    Is it out of Coma yet?
    Can we expect it to recover fully?
    And those jos will we ever see them?

  • comment-avatar
    Bull-Ant 8 years ago

    The real end is just unfolding. If people are divided and hate each other so much…..the center will not hold. Ndiko kupera kwazvo.

  • comment-avatar
    DJ BONZ 8 years ago

    Mnangagwa cant stand Mujuru on support. My only worry is Grace ambitions, Shes unpredictable- Secured PhD and may b in e same way she would b catapuld 2 e top, then it wil b ano
    ther era

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 8 years ago

    Mugabe’s sun may be approaching the end of its day and the economy unraveling but ZANU PF is still in political of the country for the foreseeable future. So what happens in its leadership bears monitoring. Indeed, which faction comes out on top may dictate if the party holds together or not after Mugabe. This has to be of interest to any opposition worth its salt. Know thy enemy. For that then determines the nature and timing of your own strategies. That is if you are a smart opposition.

    As for this article, success by the Mnangagwa faction with all its schemes and subterfuge may paradoxically turn out better for the country in the long run. A Zanu PF with likes of Grace and Mnangagwa in the presidium might be more likely to: 1. Irritate the hell out of the electorate leading up to 2018 and 2. Split the party through resentment, fear and repression, after Mugabe is gone.

  • comment-avatar
    Tafunuka 8 years ago

    I would like to believe that if at all an error is made_voting Grace for the VP post the next thing will be that baba died in his sleep and the next thing is Grace panyanga_and the next will be Grace toppled by a group of disgrundled ZANUs_the next will be nyonganyonga munyika

  • comment-avatar
    Nyati 8 years ago

    You are right Tafunuka.
    Grace has realised the state of Garbage is irreversible, she needs to be president to feel safe. No position is good enough for her.
    But then your theory kicks in.
    lord have mercy.

  • comment-avatar
    revenger avenger 8 years ago

    All total irrelevance grandstanding pompous posturing. Keep on this naive gullible armchair academic guessing speculating till the cows come home. Its waste of time. Pamberi mob justice viva street revolts. Pasi cowards. Forward the patriotic martyrs

  • comment-avatar
    Mandevu 8 years ago

    ZPF want everyone to remain focused on the political party processes and the rift in ZPF is just that. Forget the political process. Civil society must take action to get these buffoons out of here. Don’t worry about Grace and here so called PhD it is just a side show. Chihuri is a key ally in the fight that is about to come

  • comment-avatar
    Chiunduro 8 years ago

    I think we are approaching the end of Zaaaaaaanu