HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF is planning a unique vote to give veteran President Robert Mugabe a refreshing 5-yr mandate as party leader, a few resources mentioned, strengthening his hand as rivals plot to thrive him.
A person member of the party’s politburo instructed Reuters the ninety three-yr-old president could also use the party election in December to stop divisions in its best ranks, raising the prospect of the elimination of some of his challengers.
“Comrade Mugabe is the only 1 middle of electrical power in ZANU-PF and that will be re-affirmed in December,” an additional politburo member instructed Reuters.
Mugabe is the only leader Zimbabwe has regarded considering that its independence from Britain in 1980 and is owing to stand yet again in presidential elections following yr.
But his age, rumors about his well being and a mounting economic crisis have prompted open up speculation in regional media of factions competing for regulate of the party, 1 led by Mugabe’s spouse Grace.
Politicians and diplomats instructed Reuters very last thirty day period that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa had also been positioning himself for the working day Mugabe either techniques down or dies – an account backed up by hundreds of documents from inside Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Business.
Major customers of the party held a 5-hour meeting on Wednesday and decided to commence generating plans to hold the vote at a unique congress, a few individuals there mentioned. Mugabe’s phrase as party leader would have ended in 2019. A new mandate would take him earlier his 98th birthday.
“His argument is that the party is divided and only an elective congress can unite the party and go into the elections as a united group,” the very first politburo member mentioned.
When asked regardless of whether Mnangagwa would be fired at the meeting, the member mentioned Mugabe was a stickler for party regulations and had so far resisted stress to ax the vice president outdoors such a congress. He did not elaborate more.
Mnangagwa very last 7 days instructed reporters he had been poisoned in August – a report promptly dismissed by Grace Mugabe who went on to accuse the vice president of plotting to overthrow her spouse.
The vice president – also regarded as Ngwena or the Crocodile -was seen as Mugabe’s favored heir when he was appointed in December 2014.
But his political fortunes have dimmed in recent months. On Monday, Mugabe stripped him of his regulate of the justice ministry in a reshuffle and fired a few of his allies.
Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe Editing by Andrew Heavens