Mugabe tumbles into factional pit

President Robert Mugabe yesterday returned from China seething at a reported plot to sideline his wife, Grace, by senior party from Harare province who are linked to a faction led by his deputy, Joice Mujuru.


While addressing party supporters who travelled to the Harare International Airport to meet him after a weeklong working visit to China, Mugabe fumed at the provincial leadership led by Amos Midzi, a former ambassador, for attempting to nudge Grace out.

The First Lady was recently endorsed as the sole candidate for the Zanu (PF) Women’s League top position that she is set to land at the party’s congress in December.

However, she does not have a solid political home after leapfrogging senior female members in a plot said to have been engineered by Mujuru’s rival, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is competing with her to succeed the 90-year old.

Reports led by the government controlled media last week indicated that Midzi and another senior party member, Tendai Savanhu, had attempted to shove Grace over to Mashonaland West, her husband’s rural home, insisting that she did not have a home in Harare.

Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwawo, claimed that he had been approached by members of the Midzi grouping to persuade Grace to find a position in Zanu (PF) structures in Mashonaland West, rather than Harare.

However, the claim was seen as a ploy by the Mnangagwa faction, which observers say is using Grace’s name to mud their rivals in the Mujuru camp.

Zhuwawo was recently linked to the Mnangagwa camp after teaming up with Jonathan Moyo, a party strategist and Information minister, businessman, Phillip Chiyangwa and Oppah Muchinguri, who will be replaced by Grace, to donate beef cattle to the Women’s League ahead of its conference.

The conference was marred by a cash crunch and the offer by the party stalwarts was seen as a move to spite and expose the Mujuru camp for failing to provide for the conference.

One of its perceived kingpins, Didymus Mutasa, is the administration secretary and he was hauled over the coals for failing to ensure smooth preparations for the youth and women’s league conferences.

At the airport, Mugabe accused Harare province of fanning disunity.

“There is havoc in Harare (province) as some people claim the capital to be theirs and want others out. We don’t want a Harare like that as well belong to it. I am saying this because I heard that someone sent my nephew (Zhuwawo) to Amai Mugabe (Grace) to tell to get out of Harare. Where should she go?” said Mugabe.

“I want to know why there is an attempt to eject Grace (from Harare).

I want to know where this emperor (apparent reference to Midzi) is getting his powers. We don’t want people with such cockiness,” he added.

Fighting from Grace’s corner, Mugabe vowed that he would also not leave Harare, saying it was his place.

After the 2013 general elections, however, Mugabe courted controversy when he said all the people who had voted the opposition must get out of Harare.

Midzi has denied opposing Grace and recently offered her a place in the influential Zanu (PF) central committee.

Post published in: News

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