Zimbabwe’s under fire vice president Joice Mujuru missed a crucial Politburo meeting at the party headquarters in Harare on Wednesday to amend the party constitution to concentrate power in President Robert Mugabe.
The state-controlled ZBC reported that Mrs. Mujuru and her ally, Labor Minister Nicholas Goche both accused of attempting to topple president Mugabe, snubbed the meeting.
But Mujuru's sympathizers told Studio 7 that she might be suffering from stress after an all out assault on her by her opponents led by First Lady Grace Mugabe who want her to resign from the party ahead of the party congress which begins December 2.
The Soviet-style Politburo is the supreme organ of the party and is composed of members of the Central Committee, the National Council of the Women’s League, the National Council of the Youth League, the Provincial Coordinating Committees and other organs of the party.
The Politburo is tasked with electing the president and first secretary, two vice presidents and members of the Central Committee. But the Politburo agreed Wednesday to give the president powers to nominate his deputies.
The allegations that they were plotting a coup have not been substantiated despite claims by the state-controlled media that there is some video evidence. Mrs. Mujuru and Goche have vehemently refuted allegations that they are coup conspirators.
Goche, who sources say is facing arrest for allegedly plotting to assassinate president Mugabe, told VOA Studio 7 that he was not at liberty to comment.
Vice President Mujuru’s allies continue to be booted out of the influential Central Committee with the latest victims being technology minister and party Political Commissar Webster Shamu and minister in her office, Sylvester Nguni.
Zanu-PF spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo confirmed that the Politburo meeting agreed to amend the constitution but the party’s central committee will also discuss the proposed changes before they are made public.
Political analyst Joy Mabenge of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition told VOA Studio 7 that giving the president more powers will not solve the factional disputes.
President Mugabe may have been sworn-in for the last time as his advanced age and frequent trips to seek medical attention in the far East are said to be fueling succession fights in his party.
Mr. Mugabe has castigated senior party officials he said were consulting traditional and spiritual healers to enhance their chances to succeed him saying there is no vacancy at State House.
For years the succession dispute has been pitting Mujuru and Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The two have consistently denied that they have ambitions to succeed Mr. Mugabe. Critics say they fear the wrath of President Robert Mugabe who has indicated that he has no plans to retire though he is now 90 years old.