Mugabe tightens grip on power
HARARE: Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has altered the constitution of his ruling Zanu-PF party to allow him to directly appoint his deputies, giving the 90-year-old sole power to anoint his successor, party sources said yesterday.
Until now, Mugabe and his two Zanu-PF deputies have been elected by members from the country’s 10 regions. The deputies automatically took up the same posts in government.
The changes to the Zanu-PF charter, enacted at an all-night meeting of its politburo, give Mugabe an even tighter grip at a time when Deputy President Joice Mujuru has been accused of plotting to oust him at a party congress next month.
Zanu-PF’s chairman told reporters that the party had agreed to “far-reaching amendments” to its constitution.
He declined to give details, but two senior Zanu-PF members at the marathon meeting of the party’s top executive body said Mugabe would now appoint his deputies, giving him unassailable control of a party he has led since 1975.
“There will no longer be elections for deputies. They will all be appointees now, and the logic is that this will bring cohesion in the party,” one of the officials said.
The changes will be adopted by a larger Central Committee this week before endorsement at the December 2-7 congress, where Mugabe is set to be elected unopposed as party leader. – Reuters