Chinamasa under Zanu PF pressure

HARARE - Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Patrick Chinamasa has come under increasing pressure from Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rivals to amend the party constitution to pave way for the election of a female VP.

At the Zanu PF Victoria Falls conference in 2015, the party’s women’s league agitated for a quota compelling the party to have a woman within the presidium, which is entirely composed of men.

The presidium is made up of party president and first secretary, President Robert Mugabe and his two deputies, Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.

Secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo is an ex-officio member of the presidium.

The women want one of the vice presidential positions to be occupied by a member of the league.

It had been expected that the party’s leadership would immediately start implementing this resolution by making the necessary amendments to the party’s constitution.

However, no effort has been made to alter the party charter as yet, a development which has greatly angered the women who are now accusing Chinamasa — who is supposed to initiate the process — of deliberately employing delaying tactics because of factional considerations.

Addressing party supporters at Mugabe’s ninth interface rally with party youths in Bulawayo at the weekend youth league secretary Kudzanai Chipanga could not hide his frustration with Chinamasa.

“We are in support with the call for a women’s quota return at the extraordinary congress which has been said over and over again. We want to take advantage of the call for congress to amend the Zanu PF constitution to cater for that scenario and we don’t want to continuously remind the secretary for legal affairs (Chinamasa) to kick-start the process.

“Is there any problem that you are possibly encountering? If so, we have a secretary for legal affairs in the youth league as well as another one in the women’s league to help you with that and bring to you a finished document for adoption,” Chipanga suggested.

Generation 40 (G40), a faction that is rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa’s perceived presidential ambitions is pushing for the women’s quota so as to displace the Midlands godfather.

Interestingly, during Grace’s address at the same rally, the first lady appeared to seal Mnangagwa’s fate saying that the post he is currently holding has always been reserved for a woman.

“The Zanu PF constitution was created to provide for a woman vice president which saw the coming in of Mujuru and when she was sacked that is when Mnangagwa came in so he knows that we now want our position back we want it, and it’s up to us as women to decide who replaces him,” she said.

“We will sit down with my predecessor Mai Muchinguri so that we come up with a name. Before the congress, this month we want the constitution changed so we adopt it at congress. We are not grabbing the position from anyone, it is ours we want it back”.

While Grace was at pains to dismiss speculation that she is eyeing the VP post herself, she inadvertently let the act out of the bag when she declared again that “what can stop me from also getting the post if people think I am suitable because I work hard?”

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