Mugabe appoints Violent Grace to lead 2018 campaign

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has appointed his wife, Grace, to be part of a key elections directorate committee, largely made up of G40 members to oversee Zanu PF’s 2018 elections campaign strategy.

However, the move has been viewed by political analysts as an attempt by Mugabe to strategically position his wife in Zanu PF fights to succeed him.

Other officials of the five-member committee announced this week are Ignatius Chombo who is the home affairs minister and Zanu PF administration secretary, local government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere and the ruling party’s national commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa and Zanu PF youth league secretary, Kudzanayi Chipanga.

The five senior politicians are part of a Zanu PF faction – Generation 40 – a rival to another faction, Team Lacoste that is fighting to takeover power when Mugabe eventually leaves office.  Team Lacoste is reportedly led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

No Team Lacoste members are part of the key Zanu PF 2018 elections campaigns.

The elections directorate also has five working sub-committees, management chaired by Kasukuwere, research Jonathan Moyo, finance, Obert Mpofu, security, Kembo Mohadi and legal affairs, Chinamasa.

“The directorate’s mandate is among other things to direct, co-ordinate, monitor and supervise primary elections including the selection of candidates,” Chombo said.

The 2018 elections have been viewed as ‘do or die’ as opposition parties are in negotiations to field one candidate, either Joice Mujuru or Morgan Tsvangirai.

However the appointment of mainly G40 members, which have been viewed as controversial, seems to give Grace more influence in Zanu PF.

“This is also a way of the President to have a trusted person to be his eyes and ears  as well as his proxy in the elections directorate,” political analyst Vivid Gwede said.