7 April 2013

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF to Hold Special Congress to Fill VP Post

Bulawayo — Zanu PF is set to hold a special congress to elect a new Vice President to fill the void left following the death of John Nkomo early this year.

Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo last week said Zanu PF was waiting for President Robert Mugabe to indicate when and how the late Nkomo will be replaced. "We have not discussed this. It's usually done at congress but in light of the pending elections and also the need to fill the vacant post, it might be done outside congress," Gumbo said.

Gumbo said he was not privy as to whether the post would be filled before or after this year's harmonised elections.

Insiders said Zanu PF chairman, Simon Khaya-Moyo was likely to land the post but the jostling to replace him was set to create divisions in the party ahead of the election.

But sources in the party said the post would be filled after polls to avoid political squabbles ahead of the make-or-break elections, as there are fears that officials could fight for the post and that of national chairman if Khaya-Moyo is elevated.

Rugare has said an emergency congress may be held to replace the late VP before the party's national congress set for December next year.

The last congress was held in December 2009 where Mugabe was re-elected First Secretary with his two VP's Joice Mujuru and the late Nkomo.

"We are just waiting for directions on the criteria to follow to fill the VP's post and the subsequent chairman's post if Khaya-Moyo becomes the VP," said a Zanu PF official who requested anonymity.

"The issue is that the party is seized with nothing but upcoming elections so as not to rock the boat before and during the do or die polls."

Indications are that Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu, former information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Deputy President of the Senate Naison Ndlovu and retired brigadier general Ambrose Mutinhiri may be considered for the post of national chairman. Mutinhiri is Zapu's former chief of staff in Zipra.

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