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Published On: Wed, Aug 24th, 2016

Zanu PF Congress to oust Mnangagwa comes into fruision

VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s tenuous position faces renewed pressure amid growing calls to convert Zanu PF’s annual people’s conference set for Masvingo into an elective extraordinary congress to push him out for allegedly plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe, it has emerged.

Zimbabwe daily NewsDay says yesterday learnt that the Zanu PF women and youth leagues were expected to meet this week to sharpen their daggers ahead of the conference slated for December.

“The women’s league will meet on Wednesday (today) either in Mazowe (at First Lady Grace Mugabe’s children’s home) or at the Zanu PF headquarters, while the youth league executive will meet on the 26th (Friday). Top of the agenda for both meetings will be mapping out the strategy for the upcoming conference and how to turn it into an extraordinary congress,” a senior Zanu PF official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

National deputy youth secretary Kudzi Chipanga confirmed that his executive would meet, but could not be drawn into revealing the agenda.

“It is a routine meeting of the executive. Constitutionally, we are supposed to meet every three months,” Chipanga said.

Neither Zanu PF deputy politburo secretary for women’s affairs Eunice Sandi-Moyo nor treasurer Sarah Mahoka, who normally speak on behalf of the league, were available for comment yesterday.

The meetings, according to the sources, would plan a resumption of Grace’s public rallies.

“The rallies are coming back and it is the beginning of the end for Mnangagwa if he is not careful,” NewsDay heard.

Mugabe reportedly stopped Grace’s public rallies in October last year following her unprovoked attack on the military during a rally in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central province. Grace accused sections of the military of planning to kill Mugabe’s youngest son, Chatunga Bellarmine.

The women’s league at the last conference in December last year, held in Victoria Falls, called for the return of the quota system that guarantees a female post in the ruling party’s presidium. The clause in the Zanu PF constitution was struck off ahead of the party’s 2014 congress, culminating in the removal of then Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Mugabe seemed to have weathered the storm, but Mnangagwa’s detractors have renewed their campaign for his ouster.

“They want to push Mnangagwa out and this will be a culmination of different manoeuvres in the past year that has seen the removal of war veterans from the party and the divisions rocking the former freedom fighters. They were the bedrock on which Mnangagwa was building his campaign to succeed Mugabe and now they are gone,” another source close to the developments said.

Several executive members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association have been expelled from Zanu PF as part of the fall-out that followed the release of a damning communiqué calling on Mugabe to stand down and pave way for Mnangagwa.

The former freedom fighters also declared they would not support Mugabe’s candidature in elections due in 2018.

Mnangagwa is reportedly locked in a bitter tussle for power with Grace who enjoys the backing of the ambitious G40 faction fronted by party commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo.

Another Zanu PF faction, Team Lacoste, that enjoys the support of sections of the military and war veterans, was reportedly sympathetic to Mnangagwa.