Grace must remain where she is beyond 2018: War Vets

Staff Reporter

Grace Mugabe

WAR veterans have recommended that First Lady Grace Mugabe remains where she is as Zanu PF women’s league boss (up to 2018 and beyond), upping the stakes in the ruling party’s succession battles.

The recommendation by the ex-fighters comes after the women’s league demanded a return of a party constitution clause requiring one of the two vice presidents to be a woman, a post for which they would likely recommend Grace.

The clause was expunged to block the return of former vice president Joice Mujuru who was fired from the party and government for allegedly plotting a coup against President Robert Mugabe.

The veteran leader, who turns 92 next February, this week complained about divisions over his succession, warning this could lead to a split in the ruling party.

His wife, Grace, is said to be at the centre of the newly configured succession battles after the ouster of Mujuru.

Although publicly coy about the presidency, Grace has been staging curious countrywide rallies and is thought to have the support of a younger generation of leaders calling themselves G-40.

Leading G40 lights reportedly include higher education minister Jonathan Moyo and local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere with vice president Phelekezela Mphoko also appearing to join the cause lately.

The war veterans, an influential surrogate group in the ruling party, reportedly back vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s successor.

In their resolutions ahead of the party’s national conference which starts in Victoria Falls Friday the Bulawayo war veterans association targeted Grace, Mphoko and Kasukuwere.

Claiming to represent the view of the national war veterans association, the Bulawayo chapter called for the return of a female vice president making clear the job would go to a former PF Zanu cadre which would exclude Mphoko.

They also demanded that the position of national commissar be given to a war veteran which would exclude Kasukuwere who did not take part in the independence war.

Lastly, the reaffairmed their support for Dr Grace Mugabe to remain the secretary for women’s league up to 2018 and beyond.”

Divisions in the ruling party continue even as all structures endorse President Mugabe as the Zanu PF candidate for elections due in 2018 when he would be 94 years old.

Addressing central committee in Harare earlier in the week, Mugabe warned that the fights could rapture Zanu PF if not checked.

“We have a problem at the moment that threatens to split the party,” he said.

“Some are looking at the forthcoming elections, yet they are still far. They come in the year 2018.

“But the ambitious ones are working, some openly, some behind the scenes in all kinds of ways in order to place themselves in positions which they think will make them to be elected.”

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