Vice President Joyce Mujuru, who was catapulted to power in 2004 in a move that nearly split the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front, is now the favourite to take over from President Robert Mugabe should he die in office, according to a British peer.
Under the Zimbabwe Constitution one of the country’s vice-presidents should take over if the president dies in office but should call elections within 90 days.
Lord St John Bletso told the House of Lords that there was a lot of speculation about the health of President Robert Mugabe and how long he would be able to continue in his current role.
“If he dies in office, one of the Vice-Presidents is obliged by the constitution to take over,” the British peer said. “There is growing support for Vice-President Joyce Mujuru to succeed him. If she were to do so, she would need to call elections within three months unless there is an agreement between ZANU-PF and the MDC, as well as Jacob Zuma, to maintain the unity Government until 2013, which is the very last date by which elections can be held.”
It is not clear what his assessment was based on but a recent poll by The Insider indicated that Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa had an upper hand over her.
The most popular person to take over from Mugabe was Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai but he cannot do so under the present constitution. Vice-President John Nkomo was the least popular only faring better that disputed leader of the smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change leader Arthur Mutambara.
Tsvangirai polled 121 of the 194 votes while Mnangagwa had a paltry 7, Joyce Mujuru 5 and John Nkomo 2.