Mu­gabe tight­ens grip on power

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

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

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