First Lady Grace Mugabe showed her political clout yesterday when the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front expelled seven youth leaders from the party and suspended three including war Veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa and his wife for three years.
They were all accused one way or the other of insulting the First Lady.
Christopher Mutsvangwa retains his seat as the Member of Parliament for Norton while Monica remains a Senator for Manicaland. They also remain ZANU-PF national assembly members.
It is not clear whether Mutsvangwa is still war veterans leader or not but he announced on Wednesday that Mugabe will be addressing a meeting of veterans next week.
Party spokesman Simon Khaya-Moyo announced after yesterday’s politburo meeting that: “All in all, nine cases were presented and extensively discussed by the Politburo. Three cases have been suspended for three years. Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa has been suspended for three years and therefore must not hold any position in the party for the same period but he remains a member of the party and a Member of Parliament. In Midlands, Cde Esphina Nhari has also lost her position in the Women’s League as secretary for administration and was suspended for three years while Monica Mutsvangwa has also lost her position in the Women’s League.”
According to The Herald the seven former provincial youth chairpersons were expelled from the party for gross indiscipline and misconduct are: Godfrey Tsenengamu (Mashonaland Central), Godwin Gomwe (Harare), Vengai Musengi (Mashonaland West), Washington Nkomo (Matabeleland South), Khumbulani Mpofu (Bulawayo), Edmore Samambwa (Midlands) and Tamuka Nyoni (Matabeleland North).
Mutsvangwa was accused of insulting the First Family and undermining the authority of the President while his wife is reported to have participated in an illegal meeting that tried to overturn the ousting of Manicaland chairlady Cde Happiness Nyakuedzwa last year. Nyakuedzwa was kicked out for disrespecting the First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The youths were accused of indiscipline and also insulting the First Lady.
The latest purge, which included several other junior officers, seems to be clearing the way for Grace, though she has repeatedly denied that she has any presidential ambitions.
Grace is backed by a group of Young Turks who go by the name of G40.
Her repeated statements that she is happy where she is as First Lady have to be taken in the light of the 2014 purge which allegedly left Mugabe as the only centre of power. Even her major contender Emmerson Mnangagwa has also publicly stated that he has no presidential ambitions.