PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has once again survived low-level campaigns to stop him from representing Zanu PF in next year’s elections after nine of the 10 provinces endorsed him.
REPORT BY EVERSON MUSHAVA CHIEF REPORTER
There were reports that Zanu PF factions were pushing for next month’s annual conference scheduled for Gweru to be turned into an elective congress.
If the plot had succeeded, the conference — to be held in Gweru from December 4 to 9 — would have seen the emergence of a new leader to represent Zanu PF in the elections Mugabe wants held in March next year.
Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo at the weekend wrote that there were some people in the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) who were delaying the constitution-making process so that the 88-year-old veteran leader would not stand in the polls.
“Millions and millions of dollars have been squandered to essentially underwrite time-wasting to ensure that the constitution-making process does not emphatically conclude one way or the other as long as President Mugabe is the Zanu PF candidate at the next polls,” he wrote.
Zanu PF has accused some of its representatives in Copac of pushing a regime change agenda. But the outcome of provincial inter-district meetings held at the weekend virtually ensured that Mugabe will clinch the Zanu PF ticket provided that elections are held next year.
He is likely to face younger opponents in MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai (60), Welshman Ncube (53) of MDC and Simba Makoni (61) of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn.
Three provinces — Harare, Manicaland and Midlands — at the weekend endorsed Mugabe’s candidature, joining six others that had already endorsed him by Friday last week.
But a source told NewsDay yesterday that Mugabe’s endorsement was simply politics of appeasement, saying the move could be costly to the party because the old guard would be reluctant to step down.
“Mugabe has outfoxed the factions. No one can come out openly and declare his or her ambition,” said one insider.
There are reportedly two factions vying to succeed Mugabe allegedly led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa respectively.