Grace abandons Women’s League as factionalism rocks poor conference preps

Grace Mugabe has failed to use her nearness to her husband and political influence to rescue an ill-prepared Women’s League that is set to hold its pre-congress conference this week and is pushing for her to become the next boss of the organ.


Reports indicate that the league is cash strapped and its leaders have selectively approached individual Zanu (PF) members to bankroll the conference.

The league, led by the outgoing chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri and another prominent female member, Edna Madzongwe , is pushing for Grace to take over from her and has already endorsed her candidature for the elective congress to be held in December.

However, Grace has kept away from the league preparations and Madzongwe—the Senate president—as well as Muchinguri, have approached Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwawo and businessman Phillip Chiyangwa to help fund the conference.

Muchinguri acknowledged that the quartet had contributed five herd of cattle apiece for the conference that will be officially opened by Mugabe on Friday.

Moyo and Kasukuwere, both cabinet ministers, are seen as prominent party strategists while Zhuwawo and Chiyangwa are Mugabe’s nephews.

They are also said to be opposed to the faction led by Joice Mujuru, Mugabe’s deputy in both party and government, who a powerful clique in the party is reportedly trying to push out.

It is not clear why Muchinguri chose the four alone, but she is has been linked to a camp led by Emmerson Mnangagwa who is fiercely fighting Mujuru to succeed Mugabe.

Broke Zanu (PF) boasts scores of members who have amassed vast wealth over the years and critics say they must have helped raise funds for the youth and women’s league conferences.

Didymus Mutasa, the administration and acting finance secretary who has been angling for Mujuru to succeed Mugabe, is said to be unmoved by the shambolic preparations.

A local daily that is controlled by the government quoted him saying:

“Kana zvaramba zvaramba (If the Women’s League conference becomes a flop, let it be)”.

Mutasa, given his double role as head of party administration and finance, has the responsibility to mobilise funding for preparatory conferences, said Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu (PF) spokesperson.

Mugabe last week fumed over the failure by Mutasa and other party members to raise money for food and transport ahead of the youth league conference.

He ended up donating maize cereal, cattle and dairy products from his Gushungo Holdings business concern to feed the youth league conference delegates.

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