FIERCE power struggles have reportedly rocked a Zanu PF faction led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa after members failed to agree on how they would share posts after dislodging their rival Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Party insiders said Mnangagwa and his disciples were divided over who to choose as female Vice-President between Senate president Edna Madzongwe and outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri.
The camp is failing to agree on a candidate to replace Mujuru at the Zanu PF congress next month, as the race to succeed President Robert Mugabe escalates.
NewsDay is reliably informed the camp held a meeting on October 23 this year on the sidelines of First Lady Grace Mugabe’s meeting with war veterans at her orphanage in Mazowe.
The camp, according to a well-placed insiders proposed that Mnangagwa would throw his hat in the ring for the first Vice-President’s post, but failed to come up with a candidate to occupy the second Vice-President’s post.
“The First Lady proposed that Senate President Edna Madzongwe be the VP, but Oppah Muchinguri [outgoing women’s league boss] objected saying Madzongwe hailed from Mashonaland West province, where President Mugabe also comes from. Muchinguri said it was not prudent to have the President and one of his deputies coming from the same province,” the source said.
Muchinguri’s rivals allegedly shot down her candidature arguing that the outgoing Women’s League boss did not have the political clout to challenge Mujuru.
Muchinguri declined to comment on the issue over the weekend while Madzongwe was unreachable.
“I don’t want to talk to people these days. I don’t want to be misquoted,” Muchinguri said before she hung up on her mobile phone.
Zanu PF in 2004, resolved that of its two Vice-Presidents one should be a woman, although the regulation has not yet been written into the party’s constitution.
Both Madzongwe and Muchinguri were part of Grace’s entourage during her “Meet the People” tours where she addressed several campaign rallies in all provinces last month.
During the rallies, Muchinguri claimed she had voluntarily offered to step down and allowed the First Lady to take over the leadership of the Women’s League following interference by Mujuru.
Grace, at all her rallies and meetings with various party structures at her Mazowe Orphanage Centre, blasted Mujuru and all those perceived to be sympathetic to her. She called for her immediate resignation accusing her of being corrupt, foolish, ungrateful, extortionist, power-hungry, among other allegations.