ZANU-PF women to push for VP post

Source: ZANU-PF women to push for VP post | The Financial Gazette September 8, 2016

THE ZANU-PF Women’s League may not make any fresh resolutions ahead of this year’s annual conference, according to highly placed sources within the organ, who insisted they were still pressing for a return of the women’s quota in the party’s presidium.
At the Victoria Falls conference last year, the women agitated for a quota compelling the party to have a woman within the presidium, which is entirely composed of men.
It is made up of party president and first secretary, President Robert Mugabe and his two deputies, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
Secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, is an ex-officio member of the presidium.
The women want one of the vice presidential positions to be occupied by a member of the league.
One source said they wanted this before the annual conference slated for December in Masvingo.
It had been expected that the party’s leadership would start implementing this resolution after the congress by making the necessary amendments to the party’s constitution.
The process is initiated by the department of legal affairs headed by Patrick Chinamasa.
However, no effort has been made to alter the party charter as yet, a development which has greatly angered the women.
Their demand — part of a factional battle between two key factions in the party — comes as the party lines up numerous meetings ahead of the potentially epoch-making December conference.
Last weekend, restless ZANU-PF youths met in Harare for a Youth League National Assembly meeting, where President Robert Mugabe pulled a shocker by promoting Kudzai Chipanga to the powerful position of secretary for youth affairs.
Chipanga replaced Pupurai Togarepi, who was dismissed for allegedly fanning factionalism.
Togarepi was linked to a faction called Team Lacoste, which is reportedly lobbying for Mnangagwa to succeed President Mugabe.
The other faction, which is opposed to Mnangagwa’s ascent to power, is called Generation 40 (G40).
The President’s surprise move was received with a pinch of salt by a group of power brokers within ZANU-PF that wants Mnangagwa to succeed the incumbent, while opposing G40 members received it with joy.
G40 has vowed to thwart Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
Chipanga is closely linked to G40.
The Women’s League was also set to hold its own national assembly meeting on Saturday, where members are expected not to make any fresh resolutions unless the party implements their demand for representation in the Presidium.
But by yesterday, indications were that the date for the national assembly meeting had not yet been agreed, although earlier indications were that the meeting would be held on Friday and Saturday.
Women’s League spokesperson, Thokozile Mathuthu, said the meeting would not be held on Saturday.
“There is no assembly meeting on Saturday. We are going to have it, but not this Saturday,” she said.
Mathuthu professed ignorance over a planned deal to maintain last year’s resolution on representation in the Presidium.
“Where did they make that agreement? I don’t know about it,” she said.
The women’s quota clause was struck off the ZANU-PF constitution in 2014 as a measure to deal with former vice president, Joice Mujuru.
But sources insisted yesterday that the women had indeed agreed to press for the same resolutions they placed before the December 2015 conference.
“The women don’t want to make fresh resolutions for this year’s conference because their previous resolutions have not been implemented,” said a member of the Women’s League who declined to be named.
Eunice Sandi-Moyo, the deputy Women’s League boss; Hurungwe East legislator and the league’s national secretary for finance, Sarah Mahoka; Senate president, Edna Madzongwe; and Gweru businesswoman, Simeli Dube, a members of the organ, are believed to be among those pushing for the idea.
The Financial Gazette understands that there are a few of Mnangagwa’s backers in the league who are not comfortable with the Women’s League position.
These include secretary for security, Shuvai Mahofa, deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Marble Chinomona and Mashonaland West provincial Women’s League chairperson, Angeline Muchemenye.
Sandi-Moyo — who presented the league’s resolutions at Victoria Falls — has already been tasked to inform President Mugabe on the Women’s League position once the national assembly meeting is held.
A source suggested Mnangagwa’s allies will not have any chance to influence the Women’s League.
“While they might be against the idea which seems to be giving more pressure on their preferred faction, they are likely not to have any chance to raise their concerns. They have already fallen behind. Everything will, however, depend on the President, who has the final say,” added the source.
The ZANU-PF ship has been rocked by factional tides that have failed to subside after the sacking of Mujuru in 2014.
The former vice president was accused of leading a faction that was allegedly plotting to unconstitutionally remove President Mugabe from power.