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'Come December, take any position of your choice,' Grace Mugabe told

by Staff Reporter
20 Nov 2014 at 12:47hrs | Views
Oppah Muchinguri and Grace Mugabe could be at loggerheads as the outgoing Women's League boss wants to take over from Mujuru.

DailyNews has reported that a fierce power struggle has erupted in the Zanu PF faction aligned to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa over who should be selected to be President Robert Mugabe's number two after the ruling party's December elective congress if Vice President Joice Mujuru is ousted.

It has been established that Mnangagwa, Oppah Muchinguri, First Lady Grace Mugabe, and Edna Madzongwe all believe they could take over from Mujuru.

So intense is the jockeying for the coveted vice president post, amid indications that whoever gets it will in all likelihood succeed the nonagenarian, that "peace talks" are apparently underway to contain the fallout in the camp associated with some of the party's most notorious hardliners.

Ultimately, Grace is likely to decide who takes over because of the influence she has on her 90-year-old husband.

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 can be argued that Grace is eyeing a higher position, that of the president, not just the women's league and she appears to be backing president of the senate to replace Mujuru.

Sources in the faction reportedly told the Daily News that the fact that Grace, who has almost secured her position at the party's top table as boss of the Women's League, has not stopped campaigning even after being assured of this post, had triggered fears within the camp that she was aiming higher, for the VP position that the Zanu PF constitution reserves for a woman.

"The First Lady is enjoying her moment in politics as evidenced by the fact that everyone of importance has gone to her Mazowe Farm to pay homage to her ... (as a result) she now believes that she can go for any position," said one of the sources.

But it would appear that the real tussle for the VP post among the faction's senior female politicians is between outgoing Women's League boss Muchinguri and current Senate president Madzongwe.

Although both women religiously attend Grace's Mujuru-bashing meetings, the sources said there is evident mistrust between the two.

Apparently, Mugabe's powerful Gushungo clan, which has been at the forefront of Grace's rallies, prefers to have Madzongwe picked for the vice presidency post, ahead of Muchinguri.

"Oppah is too combative and has also lost the elections (Zanu PF's) for vice president to Joice Mujuru before.

"As it is, she is in Parliament only because of proportional representation and therefore she is unfit to be the vice president.

"On the other hand, Mai Madzongwe is a motherly figure who can at least have the appeal that Mujuru has," said another source within the camp.

However, the source added that Oppah, who willingly — some of her critics say expediently — offered her influential Women's League post to Grace wanted to be rewarded with a higher position, particularly as it appeared that she enjoyed the support of the majority of the people in the Mnangagwa camp, especially those who were not related to Mugabe.

"The real crisis, of course, is that Mnangagwa is the godfather of the faction, and he is weighing his chances of scooping the top post if he is able.

"As head of the legal department, his real problem is how to amend the Zanu PF constitution to remove the clause that reserves the second VP post for a woman.

"Still, I would be very surprised if any of the ladies can take this post ahead of Ngwena (Mnangagwa's nickname), and obviously Gushungo (Mugabe) will have the last say in all this," he said.

Mnangagwa is said to be persuading Matabeleland regions to nominate a woman vice president so that he enhances his chances of landing the party's number two post.

Source - Nehanda Radio