There are whispers in Zanu (PF) corridors that President Robert Mugabe no longer trusts his wife’s political capabilities and may retain Joice Mujuru as Vice President and the party’s second secretary, UK-based newspaper, The Zimbabwean, has alleged.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said this week that the current mudslinging and character assassination was just political and would end with congress. Party insiders say he would not have said this without instructions from Mugabe.
“Charamba was simply speaking Mugabe’s mind – this is why there are no longer any shouts from Grace,” said a politburo member on condition of anonymity.
Other sources said the recent boycott of a politburo meeting by Joice unsettled Mugabe as he was no longer sure of his VP’s intentions.
“Definitely, all the allegations and counter allegations would be rubbished by the president at the close of the congress,” said the sources, who disclosed that any release of party information to the private media had become treasonous in Zanu (PF).
Rejoice Ngwenya, a political analyst, said Mugabe might retain Mujuru as VP by citing lack of criminal evidence against her. He would simply say that if Mujuru had committed any crime, she would have been arrested the moment the allegations were raised.
Mugabe, Ngwenya said, was aware that no one in Zanu (PF) was clean and would challenge party members to “let the clean cast the first stone.” It was noteworthy, added Ngwenya, that Grace had suddenly withdrawn herself from the scene and left the public media to finish the job under the guidance of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.
He said Mugabe had the power to appoint Mujuru as VP even in her absence. Meanwhile, suspected Mujuru allies where booed and chased away from the delegate accreditation exercise at the Zanu (PF) headquarters last week. “There are fears that if the Mujuru camp attends the congress intact, it has the potential to even challenge Mugabe’s position,” he added.