Friday, November 12, 2004

Zimbabwe: on the issue of a female deputy prez

The national chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, Jabulani Sibanda says national leaders must be chosen on the basis of their ability and not gender.

[...] "I believe that women in leadership positions are there not because of affirmative action but because they are capable. President Mugabe is the president not because he is male but because he is capable and we elected him," said Sibanda.

Sibanda said if people wanted a deputy woman president they would elect one.

The ruling Zanu PF Women’s League at its congress recently resolved to push for a woman vice-president with former liberation war fighter and Minister of Water and Rural Resources Development Joyce Mujuru tipped for the post. (source)
More ...
Before the ZANU PF Women's League national conference held in August this year, the contest for the high-pressure job had been restricted to the party's national chairman, John Nkomo, [ZANU PF secretary for administration Emmerson] Mnangagwa, retired army general Vitalis Zvinavashe and Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies Minister Didymus Mutasa.

The race took an interesting turn when the women's league resolved to push for the overhaul of the party's constitution to allow its candidate to land the top post through affirmative action.

Joyce Mujuru, wife of retired army general and ZANU PF kingpin Solomon
Mujuru, has since emerged as the favourite. This move is however reportedly being fiercely resisted by some ZANU PF bigwigs, who feel that the idea should have come from the provinces rather than from the women's league national conference.

Mnangagwa, who many thought was balancing on political knife-edge in the face of a subtle but fierce succession struggle in the ruling party said while the powerful ZANU PF Women's League's request was "legitimate", the mechanism of achieving it was still to be resolved.

He said: "Currently, the ZANU PF constitution requires whoever is interested in the position to have the support of six provinces, voted for by the provincial executives of the six provinces. And whoever gets that support is nominated. So the Women's League, unless it (the constitution) changes, has to follow the provisions of the ZANU PF constitution." (source)
But according to the following report ... ZANU-PF might postpone choosing a deputy president until after the parliamentary election in March. They want to minimize public bickering over the deputy president position ... and wnat to concentrate on beating the opposition in the elections. Besides which ...
Earlier indications were that the women [ZANU PF Women's League] would vote for Joyce Mujuru. However, it has since emerged that the league has been torn apart with the emergence of a new camp pushing for Thenjiwe Lesabe [head of the Women's League & Zanu PF women's affairs secretary]. (source)
I'm not sure what to make of that last bit ... as recently as September, Lesabe was pushing for Mujuru to get the post. However, according to this story from October 21 ...
ZANU PF insiders told The Financial Gazette that Lesabe, the iron lady of the party's politics, had not said "no to proposals from certain quarters" that she also throws her hat into the ring.