Friday, December 11, 2015

Zimbabwean Presidency: War Veterans Reject Grace Mugabe

WAR Veterans, a key power broker in Zanu PF, have amplified their calls for the party to appoint one of their own as national commissar and for the re-adoption of the women’s quota system in the presidium.

*Grace Mugabe (pix:Independent)

Crucially however, the ex-fighters made it clear that President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, should remain where she is up “to 2018 and beyond”, suggesting they would not back her as party leader.

Grace heads the party’s Women’s League but is widely thought to be angling to take over from her soon-to-be 92 husband.
The Matabeleland and Bulawayo chapters of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), in a statement this week, took aim at Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and party commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

In a resolution which they said reflected the ZNLWVA national executive’s will, the war veterans demanded that “the political commissariat post of the party (Zanu –PF) be held by war veteran members with good revolutionary credentials.”

Since assuming this influential party position Kasukuwere, who is also a local government minister, has been on a collision course with war veterans, especially their leader Christopher Mutsvangwa.
Kasukuwere and Mutsvangwa have fallen out with both individuals reportedly plotting the ouster of the other from their influential and powerful positions.

President Mugabe and wife, Grace 
Kasukuwere is reportedly fronting a faction of the party known as the Generation 40 (G40) while Mutsvangwa is said to be sympathetic to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The G40 is also believed to be pushing for the elevation of Grace Mugabe, to be part of the presidium and potential successor to her aging husband.

Japhet Phuti, the ZNLWVA national secretary, said they also support the return of the women quota, under which a seat should be reserved for a female in the presidium.
“We also support the women’s league statement, that women should have a quota in the presidium and be maintained on rotational basis and now should go to Ex-ZAPU/ZIPRA members,” said Phuthi.

This could present Vice President Mphoko with headaches as he was appointed into the presidium via a Zapu ticket, as per the agreement in the 1987 Unity Accord.

Phuthi said they also resolved that the secretary for lands post, “be held by a member with war credentials, as everyone knows the core fundamental of the liberation struggle (sic).”

While supporting the elevation of a female member of the party into the presidium, the war veterans, however, said they support “Grace Mugabe to remain the secretary for women’s league up to 2018 and beyond.”

Phuthi said they were worried about the continuous victimisation of their members and that divisions continue to affect the party.
These resolutions are set to be presented at the party’s national conference which officially starts on Friday, in Victoria Falls.

The war veterans said they supported the leadership of President Robert Mugabe and also endorsed him as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2018 national elections.

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