The Zanu PF women’s league is reportedly pushing for the return of the quota system in the presidium, a move, that could see First Lady Grace Mugabe being appointed as one of the Vice-Presidents and probably result in the ouster of one of the sitting deputies.
Although it is not clear if the proponents of the move are agitating for the elevation of the First Lady to succeed President Robert Mugabe, the league has started lobbying within party structures to endorse the proposal ahead of the party’s national conference slated for Victoria Falls next month.
“We want one of the Vice-Presidents be a woman, just as we had before this was changed last year. We believe we deserve this recognition for our hard work,” said a women’s league executive member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Women league’s secretary for administration, Esphenah Nhari said she could not comment on the matter over the phone. “Listen, my son, I cannot discuss such matters with you over the phone. I will need to see you in person and get an appreciation of who you are before I can divulge anything,” she said.
But, insiders said the push was now at an advanced stage with provinces such as Mashonaland West having made it part of their resolutions for the conference.
“After it was raised in Mashonaland West (during the women’s league provincial conference), it’s now moving to other provinces, we are busy lobbying that as women we be given back our seat in the presidium,” said a top party official.
According to its proponents, the move is being made in line with the national Constitution that espouses gender equity. The women said they were entitled to the post, claiming since the abandonment of the system during Zanu PF’s congress last December, they had been “worse off” as all top leadership positions in the party were now occupied by men.
Women’s league members were reportedly pushing that the matter be addressed at the party’s next politburo meeting.
Currently, President Robert Mugabe is deputised by Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko with the secretary for administration being Ignatius Chombo.
Since 2004, the party adopted the quota system which saw former VP Joice Mujuru being appointed one of Mugabe’s deputies. She was, however, kicked out on allegations of plotting to topple the ageing leader.
Early this year, Mugabe told State media during his 91st birthday interview that he had not abandoned the quota system, but had just ignored it temporally due to the “mischief” perpetrated by Mujuru.