The Sunday News
THE Zanu-PF Politburo is expected on Wednesday to discuss possible action against the senior party official that the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe has accused of corruption and fanning factionalism.
It is widely believed that the said official is Vice-President Dr Joice Mujuru.
And tacit confirmation came at Harare International Airport on Friday night as President Mugabe and the First Lady prepared to leave for the beatification of Pope Paul VI at The Vatican.
The President first exchanged pleasantries with service chiefs and senior Government officials.
He then walked across the red carpet aisle and bade farewell to VP Mujuru; Senior Minister of State Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo; Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and Minister Miriam Chikukwa (Harare Provincial Affairs).
Digressing from his usual departure signature of first chatting with the VP, the President instead had a few words with Ambassador Khaya Moyo while Dr Mujuru looked on.
The First Lady shook hands with most dignitaries on the tarmac, but did not shake hands with VP Mujuru. The First Lady then waited for the President near the stairs to the plane.
Both women — who were capped at the University of Zimbabwe by President Mugabe on the same day last month — did not converse despite their proximity.
Amai Mugabe — at her rally in Mashonaland Central last Thursday — said the President was fed up with the senior official who she advised to apologise or risk the boot. The official, Dr Mugabe said, was apparently incensed by her nomination to the helm of the Zanu-PF Women’s League.
She added at another rally in Mashonaland East on Friday that divisive opposition parties such as MDC and Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn as well as corruption and factionalism were all mooted in this official’s house.
Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo said “the serious allegations” will not be ignored and could be discussed at the next Poliburo meeting scheduled for this Wednesday.
“We cannot allow such messages to go on without taking action. The agenda for the Politburo, which has been tentatively set for the 22nd of October, has not yet been confirmed because (Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Cde Didymus) Mutasa is not in the office, but I think it might be discussed.
“They are serious statements, but, of course, some of it may be allegations that may be true or false. But anyway, I have said that I do not want to speak on issues that are political. So, we will see if the Politburo decides to discuss it.”
Cde Gumbo said the main purpose of the Politburo meeting was to discuss preparations for the National Congress in December.
Other matters include amendment of the Zanu-PF constitution, Congress logistics and preparations for provincial conferences where each province will compile a list of its preferred leaders for endorsement at Congress.
A national co-ordinating committee chaired by party National Chair Ambassador Khaya Moyo will meet tomorrow to prepare for the impending Politburo meeting.
“The major issue for the Politburo will most likely be on the preparations for the Congress. We expect the chairman of the national co-ordinating committee for the Congress Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo to present to the Politburo a report on the preparations that have been done so far, whether they are on course or not on course.
“. . . I think the issue of provincial conferences will also be discussed. These conferences should be held in November so planning has to start now.”
Senior Zanu-PF officials eyeing top positions at the elective National Congress have in recent months engaged in verbal exchanges linked to factional politics.
While President Mugabe will not be challenged at the congress following his thunderous electoral victory in July 2013, other posts such as the Vice-Presidency and National Chairship are open to contest.
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi has expressed interest in one of the VP posts, setting the stage for a tussle with Dr Mujuru and Ambassador Khaya Moyo, who is widely touted as a contender.
Zimbabwe’s former Ambassador to South Africa, Cde Phelekezela Mphoko, also wants one of the posts, so does Cde Ambrose Mutinhiri.
Amai Mugabe’s impending elevation is widely expected to root out factionalism and unite the party.
She has visited all the country’s 10 provinces during her “Meet The People” tour preaching unity, peace and love.