THE Christopher Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) yesterday said it was lobbying delegates to Zanu PF’s extraordinary congress in December to choose the next female Vice-President to come from the former PF-Zapu, arguing Zanu PF had had its time under former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
PF-Zapu, formerly led by the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, stopped existing following its merger with then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF as part of the December 22, 1987 Unity Accord.
Since then, government has had two Vice-Presidents representing both parties, and these were mainly men. Mujuru’s elevation followed an amendment to the ruling party’s constitution to include a women’s quota in the presidium.
She was, however, expelled from both Zanu PF and government in 2014 after serving as President Robert Mugabe’s sole deputy since 2003, following the death of then PF-Zapu representative John Nkomo.
At the time, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was leading the race to assume the post left vacant following the death of Simon Muzenda, but his chances were torpedoed by the amendment to the Zanu PF constitution.
Mugabe has already indicated that he was toying with the idea of introducing a third vice-president, as party youths have started lobbying for First Lady Grace Mugabe to take over from Mnangagwa.
But, war veterans aligned to Mutsvangwa’s executive, which is viciously opposed to Grace’s ascendancy, said they preferred a former PF-Zapu cadre.
“On the issue of a female quota for the presidency while contentious, as the ZNLWVA we feel and are of the view that the next female VP must come from PF Zapu. It is only fair that this be the case as Zanu PF had its time when Mujuru was the VP,” ZNLWVA Bulawayo provincial chairperson Cephas Ncube said.
“We were against this move to amend the constitution to push for a female VP as the whole thing looks all sinister, but if railroaded we will push to have a female VP who was in PF Zapu. The last female VP was from Zanu PF and common sense must dictate that this be rotated and be given to PF Zapu.”
The extraordinary congress will also see Mugabe endorsed to represent the party in the 2018 elections. The Mutsvangwa-led ZNLWVA is at loggerheads with a faction of Zanu PF going with a tag G40 that it accuses of having captured the ruling party. The G40 has the backing of the First Lady.