The announcement followed a Zanu-PF politburo meeting late yesterday to discuss allegations of factionalism and corruption made by Mugabe’s wife, Grace, during political rallies she held this month. Grace Mugabe, 49, who’s allied with Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, accused Vice President Joice Mujuru of plotting against her husband and urged her to resign.
“Mnangagwa has a faction, Vice President Mujuru has a faction,” Gumbo told reporters in the capital, Harare. “The president was candid and frank enough to tell us that he’s been advised about the factions and accordingly he’ll set up a commission to look into the allegations these factions are making. The debate was frank, open and at times explosive.”
Zimbabwe’s state-controlled Herald and Chronicle newspapers today carried stories headlined “VP Mujuru on the Ropes.”
Both papers published articles backing Mugabe’s wife, while alleging the Mujuru faction is corrupt and backed by western nations. Mujuru hasn’t responded to more than five calls and text messages seeking comm
Mugabe said this week that he has no plans to step down and that there’s nothing wrong with his wife taking a senior position in the party
Zanu-PF’s congress, held every five years and scheduled for December, will decide on senior party positions. Grace Mugabe has been nominated to head the Women’s League, which would give her a seat on the policy-setting politburo.
The “battle” to find a successor to Mugabe, who turns 91 in February, means Mnangagwa’s faction will probably “go for the kill” to oust Mujuru, Alex Magaisa, a Zimbabwean constitutional lawyer, said by phone from Canterbury, U.K.
Zimbabwe’s constitution says that if the president dies, a vice president may act as president for as many as 90 days. Within that time, the ruling party must nominate a new president, who need not be the vice president, Magaisa said.
“Whoever commands the majority in Zanu-PF stands a stronger chance in the succession race,” he said. “Realizing that Mujuru might still be able to command support to upset these plans, the efforts have now turned to her outright removal.”
Remaining quiet amid the accusations by the state-run newspapers and Grace Mugabe, Mujuru may have gained support, Magaisa said.
Leader of Zimbabwe for 34 years, Robert Mugabe’s seizure of land owned by white farmers.
“Far from doing political injury to Mujuru, the negative campaign spearheaded by the Herald appears to have generated more political capital for Mujuru,” he said. “In the public eye, Grace appears petty, disrespectful, undignified and vindictive next to Mujuru’s calm and dignified demeanor.”