The political jostling within ZANU PF is showing no sign of slowing down, amid reports that Vice President Joice Mujuru and her loyalists have 'tweaked' central committee eligibility rules ahead of the party's December congress.
There are two main factions in ZANU PF; one led by Mujuru and the other by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnagagwa, who are both eyeing the party's leadership in the event that the very-old President Mugabe dies, or retires.
Under the new rules, officials who have not served for at least five years in its provincial structures cannot be members of the 240-strong central committee.
According to the NewsDay newspaper, the guidelines are divisive and appear aimed at upstaging Mnangagwa's followers for the control of structures ahead of the elective congress.
The new rules are said to have been drafted by the party's national election directorate headed by Simon Khaya Moyo, who belongs to the Mujuru camp.
Also in that meeting were Mujuru allies Didymus Mutasa and Webster Shamu. If implemented, the women's and youth wings will be the most affected.
Several of the party's provincial executives are seen within the party as being sympathetic to Mnangagwa and they could lose their positions under Mujuru's plans.
In insisting on the five-year requirement, the party's old guard ignored pleas from the youth wing which wanted a more relaxed approach to accommodate its members. This means the current leadership will not be challenged at the congress.
According to the draft guidelines, women and youths league candidates aspiring to stand election into the central committee should have served in the party for a period of 20 consecutive years, five of which must have been served as a provincial executive member, the NewsDay stated.
At risk are MPs, those aged below 35 years, and those who were appointed to ministerial positions without first serving in the party's structures.