TEN years ago, Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s elevation to the Vice Presidency of ZANU PF was scuttled at the last minute. ZANU PF introduced a new provision in its constitution that compelled the party to include a woman in its presidium. And Joice Mujuru became President Robert Mugabe’s deputy. But today, the tables have turned.
Joice Mujuru was relieved of her duties in the party and government because it is alleged that her “conduct in the discharge of her duties had become inconsistent with her official responsibilities.” After weeks of sustained allegations in the state media of corruption and nepotism, Mujuru boycotted attending the ZANU PF 6th People’s National Congress to the chagrin of the president. Her absence sealed her fate.
Several heavyweights in ZANU PF have also been knocked out of cabinet for their allegiance to Mujuru. These include: Didymus Mutasa (Presidential Affairs); Webster Shamu (ICT and Postal Services); Nicholas Goche (Public Service and Labour); Francis Nhema (Youth Development and Indigenisation); Olivia Muchena (Higher and Tertiary Education); Dzikamai Mavhaire (Energy and Power Development) and Munacho Mutezo (Mavhaire’s deputy). The official reason for the dismissals was given as “performing below expected standard.”
The elevation of Mnangagwa has come as no surprise as he has always been reported as the other “faction leader.” The second Vice President is little known former Ambassador Phelekezela Mphoko who has not been very active on the local political scene.
Mphoko was the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army commander in charge of logistics during the liberation struggle. Just before Zimbabwe obtained its independence, he was appointed as Zimbabwe African People’s Union’s Representative to Mozambique. He met and worked with Joe Modise, Jacob Zuma and other top African National Congress brass.
Simon Khaya Moyo who had been national chairman has been re-deployed to the post of party spokesman. The chairmanship has been abolished as the role will now be co-jointly shared by the two vice presidents. In the past, the chairman would have automatically ascended to the vice presidency.
Ignatius Chombo has replaced Didymus Mutasa as the ZANU PF Secretary of Administration, an influential seat in the presidium of the party. Grace Mugabe who was recently confirmed as the Women’s League boss, is now the secretary for women’s affairs. Meanwhile, Oppah Muchinguri is now secretary for transport and communication. Saviour Kasukuwere is the new secretary for commissariat.
President Mugabe is expected to make a cabinet reshuffle before the end of the week as well as confirm the appointment to government of the two ZANU PF vice president.