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Battle Lines Drawn as Zanu PF Succession Heats Up

FILE PHOTO: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, left, celebrates with newly sworn-in vice presidents Joyce Mujuru, right, and Joseph Msika, center, State House, Harare, Oct. 2008 file photo.

Battle lines were Thursday drawn in the Zanu PF succession matrix pitting Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa against Vice President Joice Mujuru.

The state controlled media, in its reporting, dubbed Thursday the “D-Day” for Mrs. Mujuru following protests seeking her immediate resignation by supporters of the Mnangagwa faction and a report that was expected to be tabled at the on-going Zanu PF Politburo meeting in the capital.

Outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri’s report has been described by some as a make-or-break that could see Mrs. Mujuru being toppled before the party’s crucial elective congress in December.

The report is, however, on First Lady Grace Mugabe’s ‘Meet the People’ rallies where she attacked the vice president and called on her to resign or ask the president for forgiveness if she did not want to be dumped. As a result, tensions have been rising in the party.

The tensions were evident this morning when thousands of placard-waving Zanu PF supporters, bussed in from several parts of the country, demonstrated against Mrs. Mujuru and war vets leader Jabulani Sibanda at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare.

In her rallies, the first lady accused Mrs. Mujuru of corruption and positioning herself to take over from President Mugabe, among other charges.

The accusations were repeated by Mr. Mugabe himself last Friday. He added that unnamed senior party officials were reportedly spearheading a perceived covert operation to topple him.

Mr. Mugabe addressed the demonstrators before proceeding into the Politburo meeting. He joined them in denouncing war veterans leader, Sibanda.

Politburo member Shuvai Mahofa, addressing the demonstrators, said she and other members of the Women’s League asked the first lady to get into politics.

For analysis, we reached independent political analyst, Chamu Madiridze, a PhD candidate at the University of Cape town who says a split is imminent in Zanu PF because of the on-going chaos.