By Shingai Nyoka
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has for the first time shown his cards on the factional fights between the first lady Grace Mugabe and the country’s vice president Joice Mujuru.
It seems the vice president could be on her way out.
Mugabe told hundreds of first lady’s supporters that the party would vote out those who were campaigning to unseat him as well as those who were corrupt in the upcoming Congress.
The show of support for Zimbabwe’s first lady could not have been more carefully orchestrated.
Hundreds of Zanu-PF party’s liberation veterans, youth and women’s league members bussed in from the provinces.
Just weeks ago first lady, Grace Mugabe referred to a final push to oust the vice president accusing her of plotting to oust Mugabe and of being guilty of corruption.
It has now become clear the President is fully behind the bid, describing supporters as the voice of truth. One called out that it was time to send Mujuru packing.
Mugabe says: “There is a way of doing it. Even some marriage ends but you don’t just send your wife of many years packing right away after all the years she has spent with the children she has given you. You give her time to wind up her affairs but you also approach the elders of her family.”
Elders are likely to be at December’s elective congress.
The party has made it clear that only Mugabe and the first lady who will take over the powerful women’s league are safe. Mugabe has promised a landmark congress.
“All these issues and concerns that you have raised will be discussed at the congress. The people you want – vote for them, and those you don’t want – don’t vote for them,” he adds.
Political Analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya says: “It seems to me that President Robert Mugabe is slowly coming to a position [of] settling for particular candidate. The chances of vice president succeeding Mugabe are next to zero.”
“It seems this man, Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa the alleged leader of the other faction vying to succeed Mugabe is the favourite. Grace Mugabe has already said she respects him.”
As the December Congress appears, a shakeup looms, but it’s a shakeup that will once again firmly entrench Mugabe’s position and extend his stronghold over the party.