Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe develops cold feet


President Robert Mugabe developed cold feet and evaded appointing his two deputies at the highly charged Zanu-PF 6th national people’s congress which ended yesterday in Harare.

While giving an excuse that he still needed more time to acquaint himself to the new appointees to the central committee, Mugabe fell foul the newly amended Zanu-PF constitution.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe

The constitution clearly stipulates that he should appoint politburo members and his deputies during the sitting of congress.

Article 8 section 40 of the Zanu-PF constitution which deals with the appointments of members of the politburo and the deputy heads of departments states that: “Soon after the election of the president and first secretary and members of the central committee, the president and first secretary of the party shall, during the sitting of the congress, appoint from the newly elected central committee, two (2) vice presidents and second secretaries, the national chairperson, the heads of departments of the politburo, the committee members of the politburo and the deputies to the heads of department.”

“I could not rush to appoint the members of the politburo because I wanted time to acquaint myself to the new faces. Central committee will meet next week and by Thursday we will give you an announcement,” Mugabe said.

Pressure seemed to mount for Mugabe to appoint the secretaries, especially the vice presidents after the embattled Joice Mujuru absented herself for the fourth consecutive day of the 6th Zanu-PF national people’s congress.

“Those who are not here have bid us good bye. We did not chase them but they chose to go their own ways,” he said.

Mugabe has found himself in a fix over who to appoint as the two vice-presidents from a powerful list which includes Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa who seems to be a favourite, outgoing national chairperson Simon Khaya-Moyo, Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda and outgoing women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri among others.

There are some within Zanu-PF who were also lobbying for First Lady, Grace Mugabe to become Mugabe’s deputy.

Mugabe also appointed 10 members to the central committee giving a new lease of life to a few Zanu-PF bigwigs who had failed to be elected in their provinces.

Those appointed by Mugabe include Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi and outgoing Youth leader Absalom Sikhosana. Former cabinet minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Charles Tawengwa also bounced back into the central committee courtesy of Mugabe as well as deputy Information minister Supa Mandiwanzira.

Mugabe promised to stand by a decision to nullify the Mashonaland East central committee elections after reports surfaced that the ousted Ray Kaukonde executive was illegally elected.

“We have received a note that the Mashonaland East list is wrong and that all the people who have been presented to us belong to the Ray Kaukonde executive,” Mugabe said.

“Go back to your province and sort this out. We want leaders who are voted by the people not imposed. Go and organise yourselves and provide us with a new list. It has to be before Wednesday because we want to choose members of the politburo,” Mugabe said.

The unilateral decision to dissolve the elected Mashonaland East Central committee members and the new provincial executive was a vote of no confidence on Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi who heads the Zanu-PF provincial coordinating committee.

Source: The Standard