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D-Day for politburo appointments

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will today announce members of the politburo, with Zanu PF insiders saying that Professor Jonathan Moyo’s nomination has faced serious resistance from members of the presidium who still view him with suspicion.

Senior Zanu PF sources close to the presidium, comprising Mugabe, his deputies Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, and chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo, say Prof Moyo’s appointment to a senior post in the politburo, if made, was not as automatic as widely believed.

They said he might not get the support of Mujuru, or Nkomo, his long-time rival, and the chairperson, SK Moyo.

The three, the insiders said, still do not trust him and would not want to give him a senior post.

They were however quick to point out that Mugabe might bow to pressure and appoint him at a junior level as deputy secretary for information or the commissariat.

“(Prof) Moyo is more of a contract worker and I don’t see him getting the endorsement of Mai Mujuru, John Nkomo and SK Moyo. These three will be united on that issue because they just don’t trust the man,” said the source close to Vice-President Mujuru.

“General Solomon Mujuru made his suspicion very clear at a politburo meeting that accepted his readmission (into the party) and warned the president not to forget his articles aivaisa mumadhaka (in which he attacked Mugabe) after he left Zanu PF in 2005.”

For the post of secretary for information, the sources said, the choice was likely to be between Information minister Webster Shamu and the current deputy information secretary Ephraim Masawi.

However, the insiders said Shamu was more likely to get the post after the current secretary for information Nathan Shamuyarira recommended him to the president.

“Shamuyarira has indicated to the president that he is not interested in any position and would prefer to retire. He then strongly recommended Shamu to take over from him and it looks like Shamu is the most likely person to get it,” said one insider.

Shamu, insiders said, was also being tipped to replace the late national commissar Elliot Manyika if he can fight off stiff competition from Nicholas Goche, Masawi, General Mike Nyambuya, Sydney Sekeramayi, Martin Dinha and retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai, who are also eyeing that powerful post whose main responsibility would be to reorganise the party and rationalise its structures.

For the powerful secretary for administration post, the choice will be between Emmerson Mnangagwa, Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa.
However, some insiders said Mutasa might be demoted because he is accused of imposing candidates in Manicaland in the 2008 elections, resulting in the party’s major loss in that province.

His involvement in the recent farm occupations is not helping him, compounded by the way he threw his hat into the ring in the race for the national chairmanship.

Two names, Oppah Muchinguri and Olivia Muchena, have been mentioned for the post of secretary for women’s affairs.

Saviour Kasukuwere or Sekeremayi or Elias Kanengoni might get the post of secretary for security.

Kasukuwere’s name has also been mentioned for the post of secretary for youth, together with the current youth leader Absolom Sikhosana.

However, some insiders said there are doubts about Kasukuwere’s comeback because he fell out with Vice-President Mujuru and has clashed with her at provincial level.

While there is a strong feeling that David Karimanzira might retain his post as secretary for finance, names like Mnangagwa, Ignatius Chombo and Goche have been linked to that post.

Zanu PF might see the elevation of deputy secretary for lands Dzikamai Mavhaire.

Likely to be retired due to poor health or old age, the insiders said, are Naison Ndlovu, Shamuyarira and Khantibal Patel.

Zanu PF’s politburo has 49 members who include the party leader, two deputies, a chairperson, 19 heads of department and their 19 deputies, as well as 10 committee members.

Mugabe appoints the politburo although there have been muted calls for them to be elected. The politburo’s main function is to act as the administrative organ of the 245-member central committee which is meeting today.

Mugabe is likely to make a series of new politburo appointments –– including at least 10 changes to fill vacancies left by those who quit the politburo or who died –– and other planned replacements to rejuvenate his ageing team.

Those who quit Zanu PF and the politburo citing the party’s leadership and policy failures include Dumiso Dabengwa and Simba Makoni. Thenjiwe Lesabe has also reportedly left or is considering leaving.

Other politburo members, who have died and will be replaced today, include Vice-President Joseph Msika, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai, Ruth Chinamano, Richard Hove and Elliot Manyika.


Faith Zaba

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