Can Mujuru still stop ZANU-PF congress?


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President Robert Mugabe, a shrewd politician who has survived the trials and tribulations within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, is likely to have his way as the party congress seems to have kicked off without any hitches after reports that supporters of Vice-President Joice Mujuru would go to court to stop the congress.

Mujuru, who was Mugabe’s number two for 10 years, was sidelined during the run-up to the congress with a litany of corruption allegations and plots levelled against her.

It is still not clear whether she will show up at the congress or not because right now she is still Mugabe’s number two until she is kicked out.

There has been wide speculation about the options open to Mujuru, but history shows that no one who has been kicked out of ZANU-PF has survived to form a formidable challenge to standing leadership which is a clear indication that the party is bigger than any individual.

The lack of a challenge casts serious doubts about reports that some of the legislators who have been sidelined and support Mujuru will resign en masse and force fresh elections.

Such a move would require a two-thirds majority which means, it would need the support of 180 Member of Parliament.

Even assuming that all non-ZANU-PF legislators would vote for fresh elections, these are only 73 out of 270. This would mean that for the vote to go through 107 of the 197 members from ZANU-PF would have to vote for the dissolution.

It is doubtful that Mujuru commands such support.  Moreover, with more than three and a half years until the next elections, this appears to be wishful thinking. More than a 100 legislators would have to put their future at stake to save the VP. This is most unlikely.

The zeal with which legislators in the inclusive government tried to hold on to their posts, and the fact that those who were not re-elected have not been paid their benefits up to now because the government has no money, clearly suggests that this would be a dead duck.

See also :God, Mugabe and The West.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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