Some Zanu PF members in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland West province are urging Vice President Joice Mujuru to fight for her political life at the forthcoming party’s elective congress in December.
Following calls by First Lady Grace Mugabe that she should either resign or apologize to President Robert Mugabe for allegedly being corrupt and wanting to succeed him, some Zanu PF members are saying she should hang on and fight for her position as they claim she has more support than her closest rival, Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mrs. Mugabe, during her 'meet the people' rallies recently, urged the deputy president to step down before the congress.
Analysts say this is because the Mnangagwa faction is weaker compared to the Mrs. Mujuru group in the party's structures so causing chaos and confusion ahead of the crucial elective congress may disrupt her camp as she positions herself to take over the presidency in the event Mr. Mugabe leaves office.
Former political detainee, Francis Foya, says Mrs. Mujuru has an undisputable history of Zimbabwe’s liberation war of the 1970s.
He says the former freedom fighter, now being referred to by many as Teurai Ropa Mazowe Crush Mujuru, should hang in there and contest for the vice presidency of the party at the congress.
FILE: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe stands with his wife Grace, as they pose for a photo at State House in Harare, Oct, 28, 2014.
Peter Liwanda is a White City resident in Chinhoyi. Liwanda says Mrs. Mujuru is capable of being the president of the party and the country.
Liwanda says it is high time that Mrs. Mujuru shows the people within and outside Zanu PF what she is capable of doing.
Another Chinhoyi resident, Dennis Kagonye, fears for Mrs. Mujuru’s life. He says she must fight from within the party as forming another party could be suicidal and will give her detractors the opportunity to derail her political career.
Kagonye says Zanu PF is known for ruthlessly persecuting its own supporters, including party heavyweights.
Though the unfolding political drama in Zanu PF is unprecedented, there are some in the party who say there's nothing new about what is happening to Mrs. Mujuru, adding all positions will be up for grabs anyway, not just hers.
A former Zanu PF cadre, Tendayi Musonza, says it is now apparent that Mrs. Mujuru's time is up because President Mugabe no longer trusts her as indicated by the first lady's utterances during her "meet the people" rallies.
Musonza is sure Mrs. Mujuru will be dumped at the Zanu PF congress as the first lady set the pace for her elimination from the party.
But others want the Zanu PF congress not to be just about fighting for positions only but for the ruling party to come up with tangible solutions to the country's problems, especially as the economy continues to deteriorate with companies closing down every month.
FILE: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) is greeted by Vice President Joice Mujuru (L) after a trip to Singapore that had ignited speculation the veteran leader was seriously ill, as he returns home to Harare, Zimbabwe, April 12, 2012.
Liwanda says he's looking forward to the congress, adding the congress should address outstanding issues or glitches in the indigenization law to ensure every stakeholder is happy and that everyone benefits.
Foya, who will be a congress delegate, hopes delegates will be allowed to elect the two vice presidents and not for President Mugabe to handpick his deputies as suggested by his wife and others in the party.
Foya argues that handpicked vice presidents will be powerless.
He also wants the elections at the congress to be done by secret ballot to avoid intimidation.
Meanwhile, the politburo endorsed the suspension of former Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairman, Temba Mliswa, on Thursday following a vote of no confidence passed by his peers two weeks ago.
Musonza says Mliswa wanted to do the impossible of trying to change the attitude of "Romans while in Rome".
What is happening in Zanu PF is truly unprecedented and how things will pan out at the congress is anybody's guess.