PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has appointed co-Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as acting president, nearly half way into his month long vacation.
This was confirmed in a statement released to the media on Monday by the principal director in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Regis Chikowore.
“Please kindly note that as of today, Monday 11th January 2016, Honourable Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the acting President of Zimbabwe in the absence of His Excellency, Cde R.G Mugabe, who is on his traditional annual vacation,” read a statement.
The soon to be 92 years old leader left the country with close family members just before Christmas destined for the Far East where he usually enjoys his annual holiday.
In his place, he left co-VP Phelekezela Mphoko.
Social and political commentator Tawanda Majoni feels the switch in the acting presidency was strange and smacked of a leader who was out to manage deep seated divisions within his party.
“This is against tradition. It is clumsy to be shifting things midway through his vacation,” said Majoni.
“He is simply trying to manage the factional turbulence within Zanu PF.
“It a case in which the President is trying to placate Mnangagwa given that there have been some factional pockets within Zanu PF.”
During the period leading to the December Zanu PF conference, Mnangagwa’s political future looked uncertain with a party faction gunning for his replacement with a female Vice President.