Zimbabwean Vice President Joice Mujuru failed to get a post in the powerful ruling Zanu-PF's Central Committee in elections held Tuesday as her Mashonaland Central province rejected her nomination papers ahead of the party's congress next week.
The Mashonaland Central Provincial Executive rejected Mujuru's CV accusing her backers of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe. The vice president is also being accused of engaging in corrupt activities and plotting to unseat Mr Mugabe at congress.
The claims have not been substantiated though they are front and centre in the state-controlled and Zanu-PF leaning Herald and Sunday Mail newspapers.
Mujuru's allies are also being systematically being purged in the party. Zanu-PF insiders say more than 10 cabinet ministers sympathetic to her will have been booted out of the Central Committee by the end of the week.
Those who have fallen by the wayside so far include, Labour Minister Nicholas Goche, Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, Energy Mminister Dzikamai Mavhaire and Education Minister Lazarus Dokora.
The list of Mrs. Mujuru's allies ousted also include nine provincial chairpersons who have been fired for various reasons. The firing of the chairpersons set in motion the move to dump the vice president.
Zanu-PF Youth League secretary for legal affairs Tongai Kasukuwere told VOA Studio 7 that it’s game over for Mrs. Mujuru after being dumped by her own province.
The process to reject Mujuru has been well-orchestrated following First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entrance into politics recently, calling on her husband, 90-year old President Robert Mugabe to “baby-dump” his deputy for allegedly being corrupt and trying to assassinate him.
The first lady has been nominated to head the influential party's Women's Leaue, replacing Gender Minister Oppah Muchinguri.
Mrs. Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are allegedly leading factions aiming to succeed President Mugabe.
Mrs. Mujuru had the inside lane until the first family intervened tipping the balance in favour of Mnanagwa. The two though have vehemently denied that they are tussling to succeed Mr. Mugabe.
The president for years has been under fire for punting on his successor causing serious friction in his party.
Kasukuwere says the vice president’s fate is sealed, adding only President Mugabe can save her by appointing her into the Central Committee.
Political analyst Earnest Mudzengi, who’s also the director of the Media Centre, says Mrs. Mujuru and her supporters are losing the battle to replace President Mugabe and by the time the party gathers for its elective congress she will be a "lame duck."