War veterans in Mashonaland East, Bulawayo and Matabeleland provinces have thrown spanners into First Lady Grace Mugabe's ambitions to deputize her husband by declaring that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa must stay put and his co-deputy Phelekezela Mphoko, an ally of Mrs. Mugabe’s and the so called Generation 40, should pave way for a woman.
The Mashonaland East branch of the war veterans said it backs demands by the Women’s League “for the quota system women representation but on a rotational basis between the two signatories of the 1987 Unity Accord (signed by Zanu PF and PF Zapu).”
The rival so-called Generation 40 has hit back pushing for Mrs. Mugabe to be elevated to the position of vice president and that War Veterans Minister Chris Mutsvangwa, an ally of Mnangangwa’s, be expelled.
The G40 group with the majority in the party’s National Disciplinary Committee has managed to suspend or expel a number of party officials backing Mnangangwa.
The war veterans, clearly backing Mnangagwa, also demanded that the party's political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere be replaced by a war veteran as he lacks the experience to mobilize supporters and unite them.
“The positions of commissar, security and lands from national to cell level should be appointed to a war veteran (sic),” read a statement issued by the war veterans.
The crisis in the ruling Zanu PF party is only deepening with Mr. Mugabe’s stunning accusation that the army, police and central intelligence officials are taking sides in the factional fights in his party.
Last year, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned that mounting tensions in Zanu PF over President Mugabe’s succession, First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entrance into mainstream politics, the dire economic crisis and related issues could see Zimbabwe sliding into a failed state.
In its report titled ‘Zimbabwe: Waiting for the Future', the ICG said Zimbabwe’s politics and economy are precarious, raising the need for Zanu PF to address the question of President Mugabe’s succession.