The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front central committee will now decide the fate of Vice-President Joice Mujuru as it has been given the task to amend the party’s constitution to allow President Robert Mugabe to choose his own politburo just like he chooses his own cabinet.
This will pre-empt aspirations of all candidates that had banked on being voted into office especially in the three hotly contested seats of the two vice-presidents and national chairman.
With the Mujuru faction having been robbed of the element of surprise and everyone now cowering as charges of treason are hanging over those who allegedly plotted to oust Mugabe, it looks like a foregone conclusion that the central committee will endorse the amendment that will allow Mugabe to anoint a successor.
While this will be a departure from the party tradition where it allowed provinces or congress to vote for candidates, the party’s highest decision making body, the politburo said this system should be abandoned because it had created competing centres of power.
People are likely to see a replica of the crucial central committee meeting of March 2007 after former army commander Solomon Mujuru, VP Mujuru’s husband, and Mashonaland Eat province had refused to endorse Mugabe as the presidential candidate in the 2008 elections and had called a special congress in 2007.
At that central committee meeting, according to a cable dispatched by United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, who Mugabe and his government said had been deployed to Zimbabwe to kick him out as he had done in Kosovo where he was chief of mission, Mugabe steamrolled his way into becoming the ZANU-PF candidate for the 2008 presidential elections.
There was no discussion. No debate.
Dell said his sources told him that Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, a close ally of Mnangagwa, introduced, at the beginning of the meeting, a proposal for consolidated presidential and parliamentary elections in 2008.
“At that point, Central Committee members, led by the Women’s League and Youth League, began chanting and singing for Mugabe to be the presidential candidate. There was no discussion, no tabling of a motion, nor was there a formal vote. The party spokesperson announced after the meeting that the Central Committee had selected Mugabe as its standard bearer”.
And that was that.
The same could apply this year and that would be the end of Mujuru. The only question is who will go with her? Didymus Mutasa, Nicholas Goche, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Simba Mudarikwa.
No one knows. Some could have gone privately to ask for forgiveness as sources say this is all that was required.
Chinamasa who has been very quiet in the current ZANU-PF saga said n Friday the in-fighting within ZANU-PF was healthy.
“It’s a good thing, it’s democratic..At the end of this process I believe we will come out stronger, more cohesive than ever before,” he was quoted as saying.
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