22 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Congress - Mugabe Unchallenged

Photo: Gado/RNW
Introducing Zimbabwe's presidential candidate, Robert Mugabe.

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will not face any challenge at Zanu PF's elective congress in December, his nephew has confirmed.

Patrick Zhuwawo, who is also a Zanu PF politburo member, said the party had unanimously endorsed the aging Zimbabwean leader to remain at the helm.

Mugabe, who turned 90 in February, has ruled the country since 1980 but took over as Zanu PF leader back in the mid-1970s.

Jockeying for positions, particularly for the vacant second vice presidency, is already underway ahead of the December meeting.

Mugabe's position however, is secure, Zhuwawo told NewZimbabwe.com last week.

"It is normal that there will be contestation for certain positions," said the dreadlocked politician.

"However, in Zanu PF there is no contestation over the position of the president because he was elected not as only the president of Zanu PF but for the nation in the just ended elections."

Zhuwawo dismissed as baseless media reports that the party is torn over Mugabe's succession with Vice President Joice Mujuru said to be battling Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa for the top job.

"I have never seen or witnessed Vice President Joyce Mujuru and Minister Mnangagwa leading any factions or contesting each other," he said.

"I am a member of the Zanu PF politburo and I only read that (succession fights) in newspapers. I would like those who know the two factions to tell me more about it or to invite me so that I see the two debating over the issue."

Although Zhuwawo denied the existence of factions in Zanu PF his boss, Didymus Mutasa who is secretary for administration, admitted the party was divided.

Mutasa, who has publicly declared he would like to see Mujuru take over from Mugabe, blamed Mnangagwa for the divisions.

"There is only one faction led by Mnangagwa because a faction is described as a group of a few people who would be working outside the party," Mutasa told party youths in Mutare early this month.

"Mnangagwa is my friend and we spent two years together in prison. If he asks me about this I will repeat what I have said because it's the truth."

He added: "I have always said that Mujuru has no faction. Mujuru faction, if it is there, is all of us because she is our leader.

"If she wanted factions she would leave her post first and do factions. She is not doing that."

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