Purged Zim leaders can still make comeback

2014-11-27 21:49
President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. (File: AFP

President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. (File: AFP

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Harare - The ongoing purge of supporters of Zimbabwe's beleaguered Vice President Joice Mujuru from the ruling party's powerful central committee does not necessarily spell the end of their political careers, opposition bodies say.

"It's too early to say this is the political death of these people who have been ousted," said McDonald Lewanika, director of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC).

"In 2004 quite a number of chairpersons were purged, but a number of them were able to find their way back into the good graces of [President] Robert Mugabe and occupy influential Zanu-PF positions," he said.

Two more party officials who must have thought they had escaped the pro-Mujuru purge after securing seats in party elections last week have been told they too are ousted, the Herald newspaper reported on Thursday.

National political commissar Webster Shamu and minister of state in Mujuru's office Sylvester Nguni were deposed because they "unashamedly associated with Mujuru", the newspaper reported.

Mujuru's main rival was a faction of Zanu-PF led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, according to Lewanika.

"Anyone who is perceived to be supportive of Joice Mujuru, who herself is perceived to have posed a challenge to Robert Mugabe in terms of his stay in the presidential office until he dies, is being removed," said Lewanika.

"The initial sense was that Mnangagwa was behind this, but it's become clearer and clearer that none of these things would be happening without the express consent of Mugabe," Lewanika added.

Pedzisai Ruhanya of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, says the ousting of Mujuru's supporters "is something that was well-planned".

"What Mugabe is not sure about is that if he were to allow Mujuru to reach congress with the support she had, anything could have happened."

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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