via Bulawayo24 NEWS | D-Day for Mujuru 30 October 2014
Out-going women’s league boss, Oppah Muchinguri will today present her make-or-break report on First Lady Grace Mugabe’s ‘Meet the People’ rallies, during which she accused Vice-President Joice Mujuru of corruption, among other charges, to the Zanu-PF politburo as tensions rise among factions fighting to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
With analysts contending that indications are that President Mugabe is angry over a perceived covert operation reportedly meant to topple him, Mujuru might be taken to task over allegations she was behind the operation.
The ruling party’s administrative body meets today at a time when the former guerrilla
movement is in turmoil as top officials angling to take over from President Mugabe position themselves and their acolytes into key positions of power.
Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya told The Zimbabwe Mail in an interview yesterday that, President Mugabe, in his parliament opening luncheon speech, was clear he “is fed up with some senior party members”.
“It is clear that the president is unhappy with something and seems fed up with some senior party leaders. For those of us who are not using their hearts to look at the developments in Zanu-PF, the president was very clear, his message is the same as that which the First Lady was parroting during her tour of the provinces,” said Ruhanya.
In his speech, the president lashed out at Zanu-PF functionaries he accused of “working with the Americans and the British to remove Mugabe because he is old” adding “I am not going anywhere”.
The crunch politburo meeting was postponed to allow cabinet to meet yesterday and party information chief Rugare Gumbo confirmed “Muchinguri’s report will be high on the agenda”.
“The matters relating to the report from the women’s league will be high on the agenda. Those are the major issues,” said Gumbo.
Zanu-PF’s succession matrix took a new dimension following the First Lady’s grand entrance into the country’s mainstream politics two months ago. Her whirlwind tour of the provinces in what was dubbed “Meet the people rallies” opened a can of worms when she called for Mujuru’s resignation on the basis that the country’s vice-president is “inept, corrupt, abuses her office and has over the years been scheming against the president”.
Muchinguri was tasked with the unenviable task of crafting a report on the First Lady’s rallies that turned into a direct attack on Mujuru and calls for the country’s number two to step-down or risk the ignominy of being “baby-dumped”.
A politburo member who spoke on condition of anonymity said Mujuru’s “number is up”.
“It might not happen tomorrow (today) but her (Mujuru) number is definitely up. She is an appointee of the women’s league and it is only that arm of the party that can recall her,” the source said.
“The report is already there and will highlight who attended, what was said and who did not attend. It is not up to Muchinguri to defend either the First Lady or Mujuru. Those fingered in any shoddy deal must stand-up and defend themselves. The First Lady has access to privileged information that most of us do not have. It is a presidential matter and must be dealt with accordingly.”
Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza argued that President Mugabe had not come out clearly in support of those agitating for a Mujuru ouster but instead could have intimated a stay of execution on his beleaguered deputy.
“Mugabe skirted the issue and was very ambiguous. While he might have seemed to confirm the conspiracy of a group reportedly seeking his removal within the party, he also seemed to be for the hierarchy which of course includes Mujuru. He cannot insist on retaining his position but argue on Mujuru’s removal,” said Mandaza.
“Muchinguri will have to tell the politburo how the rallies went and what they were meant to achieve in the first place. She will also have to explain why they turned into an attack on the vice president”.
However, Ruhanya argued that President Mugabe will not act on the matter now “because he would want to preserve the unity of the party”.
“He will not allow a rapture and like he said we will have to wait for December to see real blood-letting,” he said.
A key Mujuru ally said it is in the faction’s interest to know President Mugabe’s stance on the issue, hence a discussion at today’s politburo will be a good starting point.
“It is in Mujuru’s interest that these issues that the First Lady raised are discussed in the politburo. It will give her a chance to explain herself and provide answers to some of these issues including the corruption allegations, but the question is: Would the president and Muchinguri want to expose the First Lady by having her word questioned in her absence, in a forum where she cannot defend her word?” he said.
President Mugabe seemed to turn on the heat on a coterie of his party officials accused of working with “the country’s detractors” in a scheme that is meant to remove him unconstitutionally from power early this week.
“I know those who are saying Mugabe is old are in agreement with the Americans.They are saying he is the one preventing (us) from getting trinkets from the Americans,” said the president.
Zanu-PF leaders are locked in a bitter war to succeed President Mugabe, with Mujuru allegedly leading a faction now accused of working with Western countries as well as the opposition. The other faction that has seemingly received tacit support from the First Lady is fronted by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.