Zanu-PF future unclear after Mugabe wife's utterances

2014-10-22 17:57
Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe (AP)

Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe (AP)

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Cape Town – The future of Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu-PF, remains unclear following First Lady Grace Mugabe's entrance into mainstream politics and her recent vitriolic attacks against Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Media reports indicate the First Lady’s utterances during her "Meet the People" rallies held in different provinces last week - in which she lashed out at the vice president and other Zanu-PF officials - left nothing but a trail of destruction, which could see the revolutionary tearing apart.

Grace accused Mujuru of being a leader of a faction within Zanu-PF and told her to apologise to President Robert Mugabe.

Grace also threatening Mujuru with expulsion from the ruling party, throwing a fierce succession battle into the open.

'Dumb that faction leader'

According to the Daily News, in an unrestrained and unedifying fashion, Grace accused Mujuru of being corrupt, power hungry, selfish and a champion of western interests. She also claimed that opposition parties, the Movement for Democratic Change and Mavambo were formed in Mujuru’s house.

Grace wanted demanded Mujuru's ouster.

Joice Mujuru
Vice President Joice Mujuru. (File: AFP)

"I told the President that if you don't dump that faction leader we will dump her ourselves," Grace was quoted as saying on the campaign trail, referring to Mujuru.

Following her threats, Grace’s relationship with Mujuru is said to be now frosty, with reports saying the First Lady openly gave Mujuru a cold shoulder when she (Grace) refused to shake her hand at the Harare International Airport on Tuesday.   

Mujuru, according to the state owned Herald was at the airport together with other government officials to welcome Mugabe and Grace on their return from Italy where they witnessed the beatification of Pape Paul VI at the Vatican.

This, the report said, was the second time that Mujuru was snubbed by the First Lady, after Grace refused to shake her hand just before leaving for Italy on Friday.

Crunch meeting

Meanwhile, reports say the ruling party's politburo is set to convene for a crunch meeting on Thursday.

The Zimbabwe Mail quoted the party’s spokesperson Rugare Gumbo as saying Thursday’s meeting would  discuss among other issues, the use of "hate language" against fellow party members as well as "high indiscipline within the party".

Another report by New Zimbabwe.com quoted Gumbo as saying Zanu-PF was concerned by the many issues that were happening in the party, adding that there was a lot of indiscipline going on.

File: AP

Zanu-PF is allegedly torn between two distinct factions, one led by Mujuru and another by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. The two are said to be locked in a bitter war to succeed the veteran leader.

Mujuru and Mnangagwa have, however, rejected claims they are harbouring presidential ambitions.

Women's league

Grace, a 49-year-old former typist, was recently nominated as secretary of Zanu-PF's powerful women's league.

Confirmation of her position at the party congress in December would propel her into the party's powerful politburo.

As a member of the supreme decision-making body, she will play an active role in deciding who will succeed her husband.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  grace mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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