14 December 2017

Zimbabwe: Mugabe to Miss Zanu-PF Congress for First Time Since 1963 - Report

Photo: New Zimbabwe
The late former First Lady Sally Mugabe and President Robert Mugabe (file photo).

Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who also used to be the leader of Zanu-PF is set to miss the ruling party's congress for the first time since the party's founding in 1963, a report says.

Zanu-PF party was gearing up for its extraordinary congress that was set to take place on Friday in Harare.

According to News Day, in a landmark moment for Zanu-PF, "new party leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power following chaotic but peaceful scenes that engulfed the country following the November 14 military intervention, would preside over the ruling party's extraordinary congress".

The report quoted the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association spokesperson and Zanu-PF Harare provincial commissar, Douglas Mahiya as saying that Mugabe was no longer a member of the ruling party.

"He (Mugabe) had lost the plot. He had lost the way and was walking out of step with our ideals. Mugabe's position as both a member of the party and leader had become untenable, hence, we did not expect that the leadership would invite him, let alone allow him to attend," Mahiya reportedly said.

Ruinous divisions

The congress would see Mnangagwa being endorsed as the party leader by the country's 10 provinces.

The state-owned Herald newspaper, reported earlier this week that the aim of the congress would be to "endorse changes that came up as a result of Operation Restore Legacy that helped stop ruinous divisions in the revolutionary party".

Mugabe, who resigned from his position as president of Zimbabwe in on November 21, reportedly flew out of the country to the Far East on Monday for medical checks in Singapore. This was his first trip since his ouster.

The nonagenarian was expected to make a stop-over in Malaysia, where his first daughter, Bona, was expecting a second child.

Mugabe had been due to travel to Singapore on November 16 but was unable to leave because the military had confined him to his private home the previous day, reports quoted a government official as saying.

Mugabe was initially elected Zanu secretary-general when the party was formed in 1963 following the split in the then Zapu before he took over as leader in 1977, News Day said.

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