Has Mugabe made his choice?

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe returned home on Friday and chaired a no-holds-barred politburo meeting on Saturday, settling in one stroke his party’s succession feud at an epic meeting that saw his deputy Joice Mujuru emerge victorious at least for now.

Mujuru, who was accused by her party rivals of undermining democracy through poll-rigging in the party’s provincial elections, has now won the three provinces of Midlands, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central and is only three provinces shy of ensuring that her faction will be in charge of the presidium proceedings in 2014 when the 50-year-old movement holds its crucial congress.

But on Sunday, the minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Jonathan Moyo said provincial elections are not succession elections saying those who believed so would only have themselves to blame.

The faction led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa had appeared to have grabbed the initiative by successfully putting pressure on Mugabe to suspend results of elections in the three provinces they were trounced.

Mugabe, who was on business in the Far East, had appeared to buckle under pressure but the wily old fox, seemed to have sold the Mnangagwa faction a dummy and on Saturday, led the chorus to endorse results from the three provinces and in the process appearing to give Mujuru the lead.

Ten provincial chairpersons will be the kingmakers in the party’s forthcoming congress and the majority party is now holding elections in the remaining seven provinces this weekend on Saturday.

Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu PF spokesperson, said the elections are going to be different from the first three since the party has acquired resources lack of which hamstrung it in the previous polls.

Observers say persons aligned to the Mujuru faction are likely to win the chairperson posts in Mashonaland East, West and Matabeleland South provinces.

Simon Khaya Moyo, who hails from Matabeleland South, reportedly belongs to the Mujuru faction, and sources say he is keen on delivering the province to the vice president in order to get her backing to become the party’s second vice president.

Khaya Moyo is also going to lead the elections in the seven remaining provinces.

In Mashonaland East, incumbent chairperson Ray Kaukonde was uncontested until the last minute when an unknown challenger emerged, reportedly backed by Mujuru’s rival faction. But the odds are in favour of the businessman Kaukonde.

Mnangagwa is like a godfather in the Midlands Province but now he has lost the battle in his own backyard where Jason Machaya buried his point man Larry Mavhima in another election that was hotly-contested but endorsed by Mugabe.

At 89, few expect Mugabe to stand again in another bruising national election which comes in 2018 when he will be 94.

As a result, the stage is set for a potentially decisive congress next year.

Analysts and insiders say whoever is going to be elected Mugabe’s deputy next year is certainly going to succeed him once he retires from the top post.

With Mugabe having indicated his desire to serve his full term, none in Zanu PF has the temerity to challenge the hugely popular charmer.

Didymus Mutasa, the party’s secretary for administration has publicly backed Mujuru to take over once Mugabe steps down.

Mutasa said the destiny for Mujuru to succeed Mugabe lies in the hands of people like him, who have been publicly taking a beating for standing in her corner.

“We do not mean that Amai Mujuru takes that position now, no, because it is still with VaMugabe.

“She is still quite young. If she is going to be the president of this country, it is not her fault.

“It is our fault because we like her to be that way,” said Mutasa.

Despite a spirited campaign from the Mnangagwa faction to muddle the waters and project Mujuru as a power-hungry person, Mugabe still leaned towards his deputy.

In power since the attainment of independence from Britain in 1980, Mugabe has been the glue in Zanu PF, but there is no illusion among the rank and file that the astute strongman has seen better days and will soon pass the baton.

Comments (13)

Jonathan holds a PhD in public administration but he lacks common sense. Uncle Bob wanted to test if Jonathan and his Tsholotsho Declaration friends were still interested in power and poor Jonathan fell for the bait. He is still barking while people like Emmerson who have known Bob at close range have been a bit careful not to expose themselves. Now Jonso is virtually on his own and he won't get any public support from anyone as he foolishly engages in a battle is surely losing!

Boorangoma - 25 November 2013

Jonono will never betray his team yaMnangagwa, he is sure of what he is trying to point out, i tell you that you will see, remember he is the chief strategist for ZPF and many will die before the elective congress next year. muchataura henyu.

garwe - 25 November 2013

@boorangoma , you are just amongst those who real reason , gd analysis bro.

muchaka - 25 November 2013

Jonso is just a kid suckling from its mother's breast when it comes to zanu pf's cannibalistic politics. hana door navanaMutasa naGumbo, aya madhara epolitics not zvenyu zvana jonso zvekuti ndakamboticha pauniversity. they were there when zanu was formed when probably jonso was 3 or 4 years old. they know how to play their political cards amnd they have been with mugabe for long, they know what is in his bag of tricks. while jonso is busy rubbishing madhara aya in his newspapers, they are busy scheming behind the scenes, emmerson and jonso hamulume.

cde churucheminzwa - 25 November 2013

mabhuyo ngeei who is jonso anyway in zanu power brokering

ciem - 25 November 2013

Pliz leave Cde J Moyo alone he is doing his job splendidly

Mufudzi Akanaka - 25 November 2013

It is becoming clearer that Amai is the Chosen One and I for one feel she would make a greater leader. Jonathan Moyo is just a toy and no match for the quartet of Mutasa, Gumbo, Khaya Moyo and Mujuru. In case you haven't noticed, all the people who have real power in Zanu PF are in Mujuru's corner. Now that she's leading 3-0, I wont be surprised right now if people in the provinces are already shifting alliances in anticipation of a Mujuru landslide. You see politics is very interesting. If you back the wrong horse unonyura. And politicians have amazing long memories; they remember those who were in their corner on their way up and reward them accordingly. As for Jonathan he is a mere boy, a stupid stupid idiot with a big mouth

Action - 25 November 2013

booragoma wakawoma ndochokwadi chawataura hapana zvimwe futi Mai vakatopinda kare, i still remember vaMugabe vachiti kana mamuita vice Presendent haarambe ari vicePRESENDENT ka, wich means vaitopa hint kuti she is the future presendent.

charles jera - 26 November 2013

Hehehehe, madzimaiiiiiiiiiiii, tatononokerwa, mai ndizvo, we are all solidly behind her!!!

Wezvokwadi - 26 November 2013

Nguni is the strategist behind Mujuru when all is done he will walk away with power and the woman, that hrried marriage to his mainini was just to hoodwink the public ,

hameno - 26 November 2013

Mai vakapinda kubva pavakapinda, no doubt about this. Filing rough edges is what has been happening. After all Amai vangangove ne motherly love and care for our country

bvepfe - 27 November 2013

Amai Mujuru ndizvo. You can see it by the naked eye.

Sekuru Chakuchichi Botaremhunga - 30 November 2013

Stories of ZANU PF down fall has been awash since Smith's time. Some people relish falsehood to a point that it become the truth in their minds

dungas - 1 December 2013

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