Grace Mugabe's allies resign amid succession battles in Zanu-PF

2017-04-06 08:35
Grace Mugabe (File: AP)

Grace Mugabe (File: AP)

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Harare – President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party was plunged into turmoil when a minister and another senior official resigned from their positions in the party’s women’s wing on Wednesday amid infighting over the nonagenarian’s leader failure to groom a successor in his 37 years in power.

Two distinct camps have emerged in Zimbabwe’s revolutionary party as the factions seek to outwit each other in the race to succeed the 93 year-old leader. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is allegedly leading a faction that is angling to succeed Mugabe calling itself “Team Lacoste” while another grouping made up of young Turks, commonly known as Generation 40 and backing First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her ageing husband, wants to torpedo Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.

Although both Mnangagwa and the First Lady have publicly denied harbouring presidential ambitions, the ructions in the revolutionary party have now become synonymous in Zanu-PF politics.

Zanu PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo announced late last night that Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Eunice Sandi Moyo and Sarah Mahoka had tendered their resignations from their positions in the Women’s League after party supporters accused them of undermining the First Lady as well as abusing party funds.

First Lady's political ambitions 

Moyo and Mahoka were the Women’s League’s deputy secretary for women’s affairs and finance secretary, respectively.  

“The Politburo was informed that Comrades Sandi-Moyo and Sarah Mahoka were facing similar misdemeanors and had tendered their resignations from their positions in the Women’s League. As per the Women’s League recommendations on the two and their subsequent resignations, the Politburo accepted the same,” Khaya Moyo told journalists on the sidelines of a meeting of the Politburo.

Khaya Moyo said the duo’s resignation was clear testimony that they committed the offences adding that: “they have to pay back the funds they abused to the Women’s League.”

However, some sources in the Women’s League said the duo was targeted after they began to openly question the First Lady’s political ambitions during meetings of the Women’s League.

The resignation of Sandi Moyo meant that President Mugabe might decide to replace her as provincial affairs minister for Bulawayo although she has denied the allegations being leveled against her.

Her co-accused, Mahoka, was yet to make a public statement. News24 tried in vain to seek comment from Mahoka who, together with Sandi Moyo, were a key allies of Grace Mugabe before their fallout.

'Special massage chair'

Meanwhile, beleaguered Local Government Minister Savior Kasukuwere survived a chop from the party - at least for now - after the Politburo did not deal with a petition sent to Mugabe signed by some structures of the ruling party.

Thousands of Zanu-PF supporters had been staging anti-Kasukuwere protests in recent days, accusing the Zanu-PF national commissar of plotting against President Mugabe and setting up parallel party structures with a view to take over power from the nonagenarian.

Khaya Moyo said Kasukwere’s case was not brought before the Politburo, adding that all internal processes had to be followed before the Politburo could make a decision on him.

However, Zanu-PF insiders said Kasukuwere’s case might be discussed by the party’s supreme decision making body, the Central Committee that is set to meet at the party’s headquarters on Friday.

“The issue can be discussed at our meeting because President Mugabe and other Politburo members could not discuss a petition that was not brought properly before the Politburo.

Kasukuwere could not be reached for comment as he was not answering his mobile phone.

For his part, Mugabe told cabinet ministers who presented him with a “special massage chair” on Monday that his party’s members should follow laid down procedures of dealing with errant members of the party instead of staging demonstrations that he said did not solve anything. 

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

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