Joice Mujuru tipped to succeed Mugabe
21 May 2013, 14:02
Cape Town - Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF party is mulling over a
special congress at which top vacant positions will be filled and the
succession of President Robert Mugabe would be decided, according to a report.
Quoting a government official, The Standard reported
on Sunday that the party was aware that Mugabe would not live forever and that there
was a need to eventually prepare for his successor.
The congress is also expected to elevate the party’s national
chairperson, Simon Khaya Moyo to vice-President following the death of vice president
John Nkomo in January this year.
"Apart from elevating SK [Moyo], this special congress will
clearly spell out that in the event that Mugabe retires or is incapacitated,
the top officials are automatically elevated. This will mean that
vice-President Mujuru will be Mugabe’s successor by virtue of her current
seniority," said the official.
Mugabe’s succession has remained a hot issue, particularly
at this time when Zanu-PF is riddled with factionalism with two factions loyal
to Mujuru and defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa positioning themselves for
Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa have denied leading factions or
harbouring presidential ambitions. But Mugabe admitted at the Zanu-PF national
people’s conference in December last year that indeed the two factions existed.
The source said while the faction loyal to Mnangagwa wanted
Mugabe to remain in power, the one faithful to Mujuru was eager to see the
89-year-old head of state retiring.
He, however, said the Mnangagwa faction had the advantage
that it was supported by service chiefs who also wanted Mugabe to remain in
"It is not that they [service chiefs] like Mnangagwa, but to
them he can protect their political and business interests," he said, adding
that some in the party were also not comfortable with Mujuru because of her
perceived straight talk and her potential to be acceptable to the international
community and other political parties.