HARARE – Zanu PF deputy secretary for Legal Affairs, Paul Mangwana, has dismissed growing calls by the party’s influential youth league to have a woman replace one of the country’s two vice presidents, as a wish list.
Mangwana is a close ally of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is thought to be targeted by the women’s league resolution to have one of the vice presidents’ slots occupied by a woman.
“Those who are pushing for the removal of Mnangagwa are small boys. We are a very mature party, the party has been there since 1963. As a party we deal with real matters not individuals.
“Those calling for the removal of the vice president, where do they get power from?
“Only the president can do that. At the special congress only issued that have been raised by provinces will be raised,” said Mangwana.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo is insisting that the party’s special congress slated for Harare in December will not make changes to the presidium.
The ruling party last held its congress in Harare three years ago, where it sacked former vice president Joice Mujuru and several other senior officials over untested allegations of plotting to unseat Mugabe.
The move to amend Zanu PF’s constitution to re-introduce a clause to have a woman in the party’s presidium was originally presented as a women’s league resolution at the annual conference that was held in Victoria Falls in December 2015.
Both insiders and political analysts agree that the move is “a transparent plot” to oust Mnangagwa, and possibly replace him with first lady Grace Mugabe.
Zanu PF resorted to the quota system in 2004 to accommodate Mujuru at the expense of Mnangagwa. However, the system was expediently abandoned in 2014 to allow him to succeed Mujuru.
In terms of the ruling party’s constitution, an extra-ordinary congress may be convened whenever it is deemed necessary, at the instance of the members of the central committee or its president and first secretary.
Alternatively, it can be convened at the instance of resolutions of at least five provincial executive councils to that effect.
But unless there are constitutional amendments at the mooted congress, only Mugabe’s position will be contested. The rest of the party’s senior officials will be appointed by the current or new president
“Those who are calling for a woman vice president that is their wish that now needs to be adopted as a resolution by the central committee.
“The central committee will meet and only resolutions adopted there will be taken to congress.
“Whatever will come from the provinces will be taken to the central committee and then congress will deliberate on that, congress deals specifically with the issues from the central committee, and on whether time will be met remember political parties are political animals they can put rules and change them whenever it is necessary,” said Mangwana.
Zanu PF is currently divided in the middle, with the G40 faction involved in a life-and-death tussle with Mnangagwa’s backers, Team Lacoste.
Mugabe has consistently refused to name a successor, arguing that it is Zanu PF that must decide this issue through a congress when the time comes.
The party’s infighting took an ominous turn in August when Mnangagwa fell sick during an interface rally in Gwanda, which his backers said was a poison attack by his G40 enemies.
Mnangagwa was later airlifted to South Africa where he had emergency surgery. He subsequently issued a statement denying that his illness was caused by ice cream from the First Family’s Gushungo Dairies, although, he has consistently suggested that he was poisoned.
Recently, Mnangagwa again suggested to hordes of his supporters who had converged at Mupandawana Growth Point in Gutu, for the late Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa’s memorial service, that he was poisoned in the same way Mahofa was in 2015. – Daily News