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Senior Zanu PF Member Speaks Out on Party Factions, Grace Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe with First Lady Grace Mugabe greeting some cabinet ministers and close relatives recently soon after his arrival from the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Partly obscured (left) is Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Former Zapu secretary general and Zanu-PF politburo member, Cephas Msipa, says First Lady Grace Mugabe is walking a “very tight rope” in her new role of trying to unify warring factions in the ruling party.

Mrs. Mugabe assumes the leadership of the Zanu-PF Women’s League in December.

She has been touted by some in the party as the only one who can heal growing rifts in Zanu-PF while critics think so far she has not helped the situation but worsened it, especially as factions angle to succeed President Robert Mugabe in the event that he leaves the political stage.

In an exclusive interview with VOA Studio 7, Msipa said the Zanu-PF constitution is not very clear on who takes over from President Mugabe should he step down.

He said this has bred factionalism in the party, which may see the party splitting into two.

The former Midlands governor also told VOA Studio 7 that some five years ago he was approached by some senior Zanu PF members asking him to urge President Mugabe to appoint a successor.

The president declined to appoint a successor saying it was the prerogative of the people to choose their leaders.

Zanu-PF is allegedly divided into two factions, one led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and the other by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. But the two have consistently rejected that they lead factions in their party.

Msipa said factionalism is a cause for serious concern in Zanu PF.