One giant leap for Grace Mugabe
By Jairos Saunyama
First Lady Grace Mugabe on Tuesday took a giant leap forward to taking over the reins as Zanu PF’s Women’s League boss after the Harare Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) nominated her as a central committee member.
Underfire Harare provincial chairperson Amos Midzi said his executive was going to “keep a position” for the first lady, so that she becomes part of the province’s central committee representatives.
“This afternoon, we have sat as the provincial elections directorate and overwhelmingly reaffirmed the position that, in addition to supporting Amai Grace Mugabe for the position of national secretary for Women’s Affairs, we have decided to reserve a central committee position for her,” said Midzi.
The First Lady’s nomination to the powerful central committee, the party’s highest decision making body between congresses, would pave the way for her to be elevated by President Robert Mugabe to the influential politburo. As a politburo member, the first lady would then be eligible to head the Women’s League as national secretary.
Grace Mugabe’s nomination to lead the former guerrilla movement’s Women’s League caused consternation among the Harare provincial executive at the weekend, with some allegedly attempting to stop her ascendency.
Midzi came under fire following an outbreak of violence in Harare allegedly at the instigation of the provincial chairperson, with support of Mbare lawmaker, Tendai Savanhu.
Zanu PF politburo member Cleveria Chizema threatened to have Midzi and Savanhu expelled from the party for fanning violence and division within the party. Chizema added that she would seek audience with Mugabe who, in the past, has also registered his displeasure with Midzi.
Chizema and other women held a meeting in Highfield on Sunday where they endorsed the president’s wife as leader of the party’s Women’s League, but the meeting was declared unconstitutional by some members of the provincial leadership.
Yesterday’s PCC meeting was attended by most members of Zanu PF’s Harare provincial leadership.
In one swooping move, current Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri orchestrated Garce Mugabe’s elevation following a meeting in Mazowe initially meant to celebrate the first lady’s birthday. Midzi rubbished claims that his executive was bent on undermining the first lady’s entrance into mainstream politics.
“Grace Mugabe is a member of the party in Robert Mugabe District,” said Midzi.
Zanu PF has been rocked by fierce internal fissures ahead of its elective congress in December, with Mugabe having threatened to annul the youth conference elections said to have been marred by chaos and allegations of vote buying. The Zimbabwe Mail