FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe is already in power and does not need to lead a faction in order to land Zimbabwe’s top job, a senior civil servant has said.
President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba confirmed to the State media at the weekend that “there are abrasive fights” for Mugabe’s throne within the ruling party.
“The wife of the President is supposed to be the leader of G40. How does the wife of a sitting Head of State and therefore a sharer in the crown become the head of a faction. You already have the power; you already have the post by virtue of being the wife of the President.
“You are in the crown, you are the crown. Then you organise against it? Does that make sense to you,” Charamba queried.
G40 is a group of Young Turks within the ruling party reportedly led by Mugabe’s wife and has within its ranks the likes of Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo.
Grace is reportedly trying to derail frontrunner Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the race to take over from 91-year-old Mugabe in the twilight of his political career as an election beckons in under three years-time.
Charamba, in a bid to play down the factional cat-fights for Mugabe’s job within Zanu PF, inadvertently revealed that there are vicious struggles for power.
“There are no factions in Zanu PF, there are personality clashes, there are perception differences, there are abrasive ambitions for posts. There is a difference.
“If you are competing abrasively to hold a post in Zanu PF under President Mugabe you therefore cannot pass for a faction because you are expressing an ambition to occupy a post so that from within it you can serve Zanu PF and President Mugabe better,” he said.
Zanu PF has been locked in bitter factional fight that last year saw former Vice President Joice Mujuru and other leaders brutally kicked out as Mugabe held on to his job ahead of an elective congress.
Mugabe’s spin doctor also revealed deep structural problems in Mugabe’s government given the conflation between the State and his ruling Zanu PF party.
“What is at the heart of the fight in Manicaland is how party and Government structures interface.
“You have a minister in charge of the province; within that province you have politburo members who are also ministers of government. Who does what where and when? And with what status. It’s an unresolved question. We saw it in Midlands, Masvingo, and virtually every province. So, really it’s a structural problem we have to deal with,” Charamba said.
Water Minister Oppah Muchinguri is reportedly fighting for control of Manicaland with provincial affairs minister Mandi Chimene and Energy Minister Samuel Undenge.
Muchinguri and Undenge are politiburo members while Chimene is a junior according to the party hierarchy.