The Zimbabwe Independent reports that Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa have emerged as frontrunners to join the praesidium.
Sources who spoke to the publication said,
“She (Muchinguri) is trusted by ED because of her unwavering loyalty. She has been in cabinet for a long time. She also has impeccable liberation war credentials which make her the ultimate favourite. Her other advantage seems to be that women in the party have been clamouring for a position in the top three and, being in the praesidium already, she is very much set for it.”
However, Mutsvangwa’s credentials are just as impeccable and she has the backing of her husband, influential former Special Advisor to the President Chris Mutsvangwa who is reported to be lobbying for her to move up.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda’s name has also been thrown into the ring. However, the General is regarded as a dark horse as he is male and comes from the Midlands province at a time when Mnangagwa has been accused of favouring people from his own area.
Sibanda also has the disadvantage of having the same ZAPU/ZIPRA roots as Vice President Kembo Mohadi. Since the 1987 Unity Accord, the Vice Presidency has always been shared between the ZAPU and ZANU cadres.