THE Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial executive committee yesterday made a strange demand that the agenda for the party’s proposed extra-ordinary congress includes the appointment of a female vice-president, in a suspected bid to smuggle First Lady Grace Mugabe into the presidium.
Their position contradicted other provinces in the ruling party had endorsed President Robert Mugabe’s candidature, adding an intriguing dimension to the party’s December extra-ordinary congress.
In voting for an extra-ordinary congress, Manicaland said they wanted to discuss the elevation of a woman into the presidium a move likely to see First Lady Grace Mugabe being awarded State power and underfire Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa being booted out of office, as Mugabe’s succession turns nastier.
The ruling party’s provincial women’s league chairlady Estery Muyambo Madhuku moved the motion for a female vice-president.
“As the women’s league, we have endorsed that an extra-ordinary congress should be held in December and we are proposing that we should have a women’s representative,” she said.
Mugabe recently indicated that he could appoint a third vice-president to end the factional fights within Zanu-PF.
Section 26(2) of the Zanu-PF constitution provides for an extra-ordinary congress, only if there is a vacancy in the office of national president or when a successor is to be chosen.
At 93, Mugabe remains the party’s presidential candidate for the 2018 elections, although his advanced age and poor health might force him to step down from government and remain party president.
Provincial youth chairman Mubuso Chinguno warned that their main target at the congress was Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa leads the pack in Mugabe’s likely successors, with Grace and Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi touted as dark horses for the post.
“Women are there in Parliament and they are also there in Cabinet, so we are supporting you women to have someone in the presidium, as youths we are endorsing the extra-ordinary congress, we also want the issue of poison to be clarified, we want to know when was the poison used,” he said in apparent reference to Mnangagwa’s poisoning saga in Gwanda two months ago.
“There are people who are being sent to destabilise the party and we realised that we need to deal with the source, we should deal with the issue Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, he should come clean on these people and he should be accountable,” he said.
Provincial secretary for administration Kenneth Saruchera told the Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial co-ordinating committee meeting that the province had unanimously endorsed the resolution of holding an extra-ordinary congress.
“We convened a meeting early today (yesterday) and we passed a resolution that there should be an extra-ordinary congress.
Manicaland province requested his Excellency, the first secretary of the party Comrade President Robert Mugabe in terms of the constitution section 26 (1)(c) to convene an extra ordinary congress,” he said.
“We want to specifically deliberate on the party’s solidarity with President Robert Mugabe and his confirmation as the candidate for the 2018 election and the urgency to take stork of the party and realign party structures. We are going to send our resolution to the party’s secretary for administration.”
This came as more than five party provinces had by yesterday endorsed the call for an extra-ordinary congress.
Party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said he was sure that the party was heading towards the special congress, which under normal circumstances would choose the party’s presidential candidate or the soon-to-be 94 years old Mugabe’s successor.