WASHINGTON DC —
Ordinary Zimbabweans, who for the past month have watched with intrigue the Zanu PF soap opera led by First Lady Grace Mugabe’s verbal attacks on Vice President Joice Mujuru, say the deputy president’s failure to get a seat in the party’s influential Central Committee is an indication that her political career is almost over in the ruling party.
Some of them told VOA Studio 7 only President Robert Mugabe can revive her career.
Mrs. Mujuru has been under siege following Mrs. Mugabe’s call to her husband to “baby dump” her at the party’s congress next week alleging she’s corrupt, inept and was plotting to remove Mr. Mugabe from office by hook or crook.
At the beginning of the year, no-one would have written the script that continues to unfold in Zanu PF, especially that Mrs. Mujuru would fail to gain a seat on the party’s powerful organ – the Central Committee.
Mrs. Mugabe has urged Mrs. Mujuru, during her so-called ‘Meet the People Rallies’, to apologise to her husband for her alleged transgressions. Now it appears her fate is all but sealed with Mr. Mugabe expected to appoint his deputies at next week’s congress.
But according to the Zanu PF constitution Mr. Mugabe can still appoint her to the party’s Central Committee, with some arguing President Mugabe will try to keep Mrs. Mujuru close despite “dumping” her from the vice presidency.
But many city residents told Studio 7 this is unlikely given that Mrs. Mujuru, who until recently was tipped to succeed President Mugabe, has been accused of plotting to oust him from office.
Harare resident Richard Ndibatei says with what the first lady has been saying, it will be a tough time for President Mugabe to appoint Mrs. Mujuru.
Another resident, Jeffrey Moyo, says even if Mrs. Mujuru is appointed she will return to the Central Committee a weaker politician.
Mrs. Mujuru lost her seat in the Central Committee after her home province of Mashonaland Central declined her nomination saying it did not want to be associated with anyone facing charges of trying to topple the president.
Several of her allies around the country have also fallen by the wayside.
While some sympathized with Mrs. Mujuru, others like this resident, who declined to be named, said she was also partly responsible for the serious economic problems Zimbabwe is facing.
Asked whether they thought Zanu PF could split as a result of on-going problems, many residents felt Mrs. Mujuru and her allies should not leave Zanu PF as they risk worse persecution if they pulled out.
The state has been accusing Mrs. Mujuru of involvement in shady deals as cat calls for her ouster from a faction allegedly led by her rival for the presidency in Zanu PF, allegedly led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, grew louder.
The Mnangagwa faction currently seems to be enjoying the support of the first family with Mnangagwa himself tipped to take over as one of the country’s vice presidents after next week’s congress.