Harare – Youths from Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF are reportedly divided over plans to amend the party’s constitution to accommodate a female vice president.
Reports last week indicated that there was a proposed push within Zanu-PF to include a woman in the presidium, a move seen by many as a way by the party’s G40 faction to ensure that its leader Grace Mugabe became vice president.
Zanu-PF was divided into two distinct factions that sought to outwit each other in the battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe has failed to groom a successor in his 37 years in power in the southern African country.
One of the camps calling itself “Team Lacoste” was linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while another faction made up of Young Turks trading by the name Generation 40 was reportedly linked to Grace. G40 was said to be seeking to torpedo Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
However, both Mnangagwa and the First Lady have publicly denied harbouring presidential ambitions.
According to NewsDay, Grace’s allies were said to be pushing for her elevation at the party’s extraordinary congress set for December.
The extraordinary congress was brought forward by two years.
The report said that the G40 faction was allegedly plotting to use the event to either push out Mnangagwa and replace him with Grace or create the post of a third vice-president to sneak the First Lady in.
However, tempers reportedly flared when Zanu-PF youth league national executive members debated the matter at the ongoing International Festival of Students and Youth in Sochi, Russia, the report said.
The report quoted sources as saying that tempers boiled over after some party executives accused league secretary Kudzanayi Chipanga of resisting efforts to amend the party constitution to allow for Grace’s elevation.
Last week, Zimbabwe’s former freedom fighters vowed to stop the alleged plan to get Mugabe’s wife elected as a vice president.
The chairperson of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association in Bulawayo, Caphas Ncube, said that they were “watching them [G40] closely” and would “defend the revolution we fought for”.
Ncube said, however, that the war veterans were not against the proposed extraordinary conference, but were against the continuous “changing of the party’s constitution to suit personal and individual interests”.
“We cannot have a situation where the party’s constitution is being changed at the behest of other people,” Ncube was quoted as saying. -News24