SW Radio Africa (London)

24 June 2014

Zimbabwe: No Zanu-PF Leadership Challenge for Mugabe

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

President Robert Mugabe is likely to be ZANU PF's presidential candidate for the 2018 elections (at the age of 94) amid reports he will not be challenged at the party's elective congress in December.

Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwawo, told the UK based NewZimbabwe.com online publication that Mugabe had unanimously been endorsed by ZANU PF to remain as head of the party.

Zhuwawo is a politburo member and is believed to be very close to his uncle, who has ruled Zimbabwe since Independence in 1980. Apart from the top post, other positions will be contested and already there is jockeying for the vacant second vice presidency, earmarked by Simon Khaya-Moyo, the current national chairman.

Zhuwawo said it was normal that there be contestation for certain positions but definitely not that of the president because he was elected not as only the president of ZANU PF but 'for the nation in the just ended elections.'

Meanwhile, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is likely to face former Harare Mayor Elias Mudzuri for the coveted post of party president.

Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said they welcome reports of party members wishing to contest for various posts during their October congress.

Mwonzora said the MDC-T stands for democracy and will not block anyone from contesting against Tsvangirai or any other positions. He said candidates vying for positions at the congress will first have to be nominated by provinces before putting up their names for elections.

Mudzuri's campaigners have been insisting that he should contest Tsvangirai to show that democracy is at play in the MDC-T. However, political analysts believe Mudzuri faces a near impossible task to dislodge Tsvangirai, who enjoys groundswell support amongst Zimbabweans in many rural and high density areas.

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