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Zanu PF Province Challenges Mugabe's Powers to Appoint Deputies

Zimbabwe Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Zimbabwe Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zanu PF Mashonaland Central province has resolved that the party’s vice presidents should be elected instead of being hand-picked by President Robert Mugabe, arguing that the current set up is undemocratic.

In a move widely seen as part of the intensifying internal political squabbles over Mr. Mugabe’s succession ahead of the non-elective Zanu PF People’s Conference to be held before the end of the year, the province also called for the election of a woman in one of the vice presidential posts.

The party’s provincial chairperson Dickson Mafios told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that the ‘one-center-of-power’ policy adopted in the last Zanu PF congress in 2014 is unworkable as the current vice presidents are not defending Mr. Mugabe when he is attacked by citizens or members of the ruling party.

Zanu PF changed its constitution at that particular congress in which former Vice President Joice Mujuru and several senior officials were kicked out of the party for allegedly attempting to topple the president. Mujuru and her colleagues dismissed these allegations as unfounded, noting that they were victims of political squabbles within the party over Mr. Mugabe’s succession.

Two factions – one allegedly led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and another by First Lady Grace Mugabe – are said to be fighting over the succession of the 92 year old Zimbabwean leader.

President Mugabe was given powers at the congress to appoint his deputies, who normally become Zimbabwe’s vice presidents.

Section 32 of the ruling party’s constitution stipulates that “there shall be two vice presidents and two second secretaries appointed in accordance to the Unity Accord by the president for their skill, experience, probity, integrity and commitment to the party ideologies, values, principles and policies.”

But Mafios, according to the Herald, says this is undemocratic.

Studio 7 was unable to get comment from party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo.