‘President Grace Mugabe’ wants Vice President Mphoko out?
ZANU PF party’s women’s league has not given up on demands for a woman to join the ruling party’s three-member presidium but will now target Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko for ouster, it has emerged.
Highly-placed party sources this week claimed that the league had decided that Mphoko would have to be elbowed out because co-Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s was now “untouchable”.
First Lady Grace Mugabe, who was said to be lined up for the vice presidency, is reportedly no longer interested because she is already running the country in the stead of her 92-year-old husband who revealed last Saturday that he was looking to retire “properly”.
President Robert Mugabe’s wife confirmed the “bedroom coup” during a meeting of the Women’s League Mashonaland West province.
Said provincial chairperson Angeline Muchemeyi: “Grace told an executive meeting that she is ‘already the President’ and would not want to be appointed VP, as it was a lower post.
“The First Lady said I’m the wife of the President, I’m the president already … I plan and do everything with the President, what more do I want, for now the position of the women boss is enough.”
When the league came up with the resolution, it was thought that they wanted succession aspirant Mnangagwa ousted and replaced by Grace, who is currently national secretary for the women’s wing.
The First Lady was said to be the leader of the claimed G40 Zanu PF faction which is reportedly determined to block a Mnangagwa presidency.
Mnangagwa now untouchable?
At the height of its authority, G40 surrogates such as legislator Sarah Mahoka and Manicanaland minister Mandi Chimene lambasted Mnangagwa and publicly asked Mugabe to fire him for allegedly plotting a coup but the vice president remains in post.
And lately, the tide has appeared to turn in the succession stakes with leading G40 ministers such as Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere regularly criticised in the State media and accused of corruption.
A Women’s League source told NewZimbabwe.com Monday that they would propose Provincial Affairs Minister Eunice Sandi Moyo for co vice president alongside Mnangagwa. Moyo would replace the G40-linked Mphoko.
“The tide has turned against Mphoko as he will be replaced by Eunice Sandi Moyo,” said the source.
“The First Lady is content with her position of Secretary because she already runs the show by virtue of being the wife of the President; that is why they want to elevate Sandi Moyo.
“Should Mugabe endorse the move, then Mphoko is finished as the Mnangagwa’s faction has now taken root in the party.”
Also in trouble is local government minister and Zanu PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere who however, remains defiant.
“Kasukuwere might brag that he fears no one but the man is living in fear due to these internal fights and has since beefed up his security,” the source added.
President Mugabe added fuel to the succession fires at the weekend when he admitted his time at the top was nearing its sunset moments but insisted an orderly transition in the ruling party.