THE Zanu PF Youth League Thursday adopted a resolution pushing for the appointment of a woman vice president at the party’s extra-ordinary congress set for December.
President Robert Mugabe last week agreed to transform the ruling party’s annual jamboree into an elective indaba triggering a flurry of activities and endorsements by the Zanu PF provincial coordinating committees.
However it was Manicaland only that was explicit in demand for the party to have a woman in the presidium.
Following a meeting of the youth league early Thursday, politburo secretary for youth Kudzanai Chipanga, told journalists the extra-ordinary congress resolution had been adopted.
“The youth league met for an extra-ordinary meeting of the national executive and deliberated on a few issues. Among these was the idea of re-introducing the women’s quota in line with the December 2015 Victoria Falls conference resolution,” said Chipanga.
He added that the youth league also wanted the extra-ordinary congress to unequivocally declare Mugabe “the sole presidential candidate in the general elections next year”.
The youth league’s resolution regarding Mugabe’s sole candidature seems to have been a response to the declaration by war veterans that the 93 year-old Zanu PF leader “must be challenged at the extra-ordinary congress”.
Reports early this week indicated the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association led by former Cabinet minister Christopher Mutsvangwa was planning a conference in Harare before the extra-ordinary congress to deliberate on, among other things, the possibility of Mugabe being challenged.
Demands to bring back the provision for a woman in the Zanu PF presidium would translate either for one of Mugabe’s current deputies, presumably Emmerson Mnangagwa, giving way likely for First Lady Grace Mugabe.
But Mnangagwa with support from sections of the military and the former liberation war fighters has shown willingness to tough it out and probably fight for his position.
Mugabe is under increasing pressure from his wife and her G40 lieutenants to remove Mnangagwa who is accused of plotting a hostile take-over.
The Zanu PF leader has watched his lieutenants heckle and brawl over his succession and in recent weeks seemed to be buying into the G40 narrative that Mnangagwa was getting a little “too ambitious and impatient”.