By Peter Bolder|
President Robert Mugabe’s problems over control of a fractured Zanu PF have mounted after vice president Joice Mujuru rejected his call for her to resign before the party congress which starts Thursday.
In a major, embarrassing climb-down, the state media on Sunday conceded that Mugabe only had power to name a second vice president at congress. He would then deal with Mujuru through a cabinet reshuffle after the congress, said a state propaganda sheet.
“Home affairs minister Kembo Mohadi and former chief diplomat to South Africa Phelekezela Mphoko could score big, with either of them becoming second vice-president and the other national chair,” said the Sunday Mail, admitting Mugabe was keeping the impending appointments a personal secret.
Mugabe had ordered Mujuru to give up her government post before the congress but she refused. He went on to scandalise her, threatening to arrest her for corruption but that too failed. Charges that she plotted a military coup against him fell through due to lack of evidence. Mugabe then used violent thugs to disrupt central committee elections and bar Mujuru from a politburo meeting last week where he changed the party constitution to allow himself to handpick all senior party officials.
The move to appoint Mohadi or Mphoko comes as a major blow to justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa who had publicly been promised the vice-president post by Mugabe’s wife Grace.
Mujuru has said she will not comment until Mugabe himself speaks on who he wants to be vice president. She is expected to remain in office and act as president while the dictator takes his annual vacation in December.
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