THE Zanu-PF youth league yesterday called for the reconstitution of the ruling party’s presidium, sounding the death knell on beleaguered Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
An extraordinary meeting of the youth league national executive which was convened in Harare yesterday to consider various issues, including the call for an extraordinary congress, resolved to call on President Robert Mugabe to convene the gathering for the re-introduction of the women’s quota.
“Following the unanimous adoption by all 10 Zanu-PF provinces to call on President Robert Mugabe to convene an extraordinary session of congress, the youth league, therefore, implores the President and first secretary of the party to convene an extraordinary session of congress in order to allow the party to reaffirm the endorsement of its iconic leader Cde R G Mugabe as the sole centre of power in the party and sole presidential candidate in the 2018 general elections,” Zanu-PF secretary for youths Kudzanayi Chipanga said.
“To call upon the party to respect the Victoria Falls conference resolution, which recommended the re-introduction of the women’s quota.”
Chipanga did not entertain questions. All 10 Zanu-PF provincial co-ordinating committees met last weekend and resolved to call on Mugabe to convene the extraordinary congress.
The issue was triggered following a meeting of the politburo, where it is claimed that a faction of the ruling party known as G40, which is bitterly opposed to Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed Mugabe, brought up the issue of turning this year’s annual conference into an elective congress.
The G40 group initially pushed for First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband, but later parachuted Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi into the succession matrix.
The latest demand for a woman into the presidium could, however, signal yet another shift in allegiances back to Grace.
Mugabe has publicly rejected the idea of handing over power to his wife or even to anoint a successor, arguing it would be unconstitutional.
At the Zanu-PF 2014 congress, Mnangagwa benefited from changes to the ruling party’s constitution that removed the provision requiring that one of Mugabe’s deputies must be a woman after then Vice-President Joice Mujuru was stampeded out of the party under a cloud on allegations bordering on treason before she joined opposition ranks.
Apparently, Mujuru had benefited from the introduction of the women’s quota provision in 2004, dealing a body blow to Mnangagwa, who at the time looked a shoo-in to take up the position then left vacant following the death of former Vice President Simon Muzenda.