Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has asked the ruling ZANU-PF’s women’s wing to consider amendments to the party’s constitution to allow for the appointment of a third woman vice president.
Currently, ZANU-PF constitution allows Mugabe to appoint two vice presidents, one from the party’s historical Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) wing while the other vice president comes from the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) wing.
ZANU and ZAPU fought together in the 1970s liberation war that brought Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980. The two parties signed a unity accord in 1986 to form ZANU-PF.
Mugabe was quoted by the state run Herald newspaper Friday as saying that the women’s wing had two options; either to revert to the old position of two vice presidents with one being a woman or to add a third VP post that will be reserved for a woman.
“Think of those mere suggestions and we go to congress to discuss it,” Mugabe is quoted as saying during a meeting of the women’s wing in Harare on Thursday.
He said this after his wife Grace, had called for the amendment of the party’s constitution to reinstate a provision requiring that one of the party’s two vice presidents be a woman.
Grace is the party’s women’s wing chairperson.
The provision had been scrapped off after Mugabe in 2014 fired former Vice President Joice Mujuru on allegations of trying to topple him.
He then appointed Emmerson Mnangagwa and career diplomat Phelekezela Mphoko as the current vice presidents.
Mugabe’s party is currently riddled with intense infighting as factions vie to succeed him.
Grace on Thursday urged her husband Mugabe to name a successor to help tame the infighting.
Mugabe will seek re-election in next year’s polls when he will be 94, after he was endorsed by his party as its presidential candidate. Enditem
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