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Mugabe Delays Appointment of Presidium Members

  • Gibbs Dube
  • Blessing  Zulu

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, were the only ones who were elected by acclamation at the just-ended 6th Congress.

Ninety-year old President Robert on Saturday delayed the appointment of his deputies and national chairman after he was endorsed as the Zanu PF president, secretary and the party's sole candidate in Zimbabwe's 2018 presidential election.

There were high expectations that the president will nominate his two deputies and national chairman soon after his endorsement through acclamation by over 12,000 delegates.

Mr. Mugabe, who now has constitutional powers to make these appointments, told the Zanu PF supporters that he will announce the names of members of the presidium on Wednesday.

The president said he is studying the names of people in the Central Committee before making his final decision on the key posts.

The presidium comprises him, two deputies and party chairman. These positions, which have over the years been filled through party elections, normally translate into national state posts.

Members of the last presidium were Mr. Mugabe, Vice President Joice Mujuru, the late Vice President John Nkomo, and Simon Khaya Moyo.

Mr. Mugabe thanked the Zanu PF supporters for having faith in him.

Political analyst Professor Shadreck Guto of the University of South Africa said President Mugabe’s endorsement as party president and first secretary and the elevation of his wife to the Women’s League were predictable.

He believed that the president will end up being a liability to his party in the near future.

Independent political analyst Tapera Kapuya said it is problematic for President Mugabe to run for any election at 94.

Another political analyst, Nkululeko Sibanda, of Huddersfield University said the elevation of the president’s wife to the post of secretary of the Women’s League is unlikely to change the lives of Zimbabweans.