HARARE – Zanu PF women’s league has said it will soon meet to finalise a planned campaign to mobilise support for 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe ahead of the 2018 elections, a senior official has said.
The league’s secretary for finance, Sarah Mahoka, told the Daily News that now that President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace — leader of the women’s wing — is back from a month-long annual holiday, they can “meet as national executive to map the way forward”.
“…she (Grace) will rest a while before we come together as the national executive, probably next week or the other, to also allow provinces to conclude their on-going provincial coordinating committee meetings countrywide,” the First Lady’s ally said.
“Our focus this year is to make sure that we mobilise our supporters to rally behind…Mugabe, who is our candidate for the elections next year,” Mahoka said.
“We will mobilise all women to come forth and defend our president,” she added.
While Mahoka declined to give details of other important programmes the women’s league will be pursuing, the outspoken Hurungwe East legislator told the Daily News in a separate interview that they will also emphasise their desire to regain one of the ruling party’s two vice president posts by pressing for constitutional changes to that effect.
She said following complaints by Mugabe over non-implementation of Zanu PF conference resolutions, the women’s league is going to vigorously pursue all its resolutions including the one calling for the re-introduction of a woman vice president that was adopted in 2015.
“The president made it clear that he was not happy with a situation where the party makes resolutions that are not implemented, Amai (Grace) said we should start implementing all our resolutions now by making sure that the women’s quota clause is incorporated in the party constitution,” Mahoka said.
The league, which was the only organ given the chance to outline its own resolutions to the Masvingo conference, made the issue of representation in the presidium, consisting of the party’s president and his two deputies, very clear.
Its deputy secretary, Eunice Sandi-Moyo, told the December 2016 Zanu PF conference: “We are concerned with lack of implementation of party resolutions made in 2015 in Victoria Falls.”
“We made it clear that we wanted the constitution to be changed to allow an earlier provision that one of the two VPs should be a woman. This has not been implemented.”
Observers say the move by the women’s league is aimed at ousting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who they do not want to succeed Mugabe.
Zanu PF is divided along factional lines, with the Mnangagwa faction fighting a war of attrition with the rival G40 faction that is believed to have coalesced around Mugabe’s wife.