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will be number three in Zimbabwe
Mail and Guardian (SA)
August 30, 2013
While President Robert
Mugabe mulls over appointments to his new Cabinet, his attention
will also be on the appointment of a second vice-president.
The post became vacant
following the death of John Nkomo from cancer in January.
The Mail & Guardian
takes a look at the leading contenders for the position, which is
usually reserved for officials from the Matabeleland provinces in
honour of the Unity Accord signed between Zanu-PF and Zapu in 1987.
Zanu-PF national chairperson
and a former Zimbabwe ambassador to South Africa, Khaya-Moyo is
the leading contender.
He is the third most
senior official after Mugabe and Vice-President Joice Mujuru and
is a member of the party’s presidium. He comes from the Matabeleland
South province and is credited with turning around Zanu-PF’s
fortunes in the Matabeleland region, something for which Mugabe
is likely to reward him.
Lending credence to speculation
that Khaya-Moyo may be on his way to higher office are indications
that Mugabe has backed the appointment of Jacob Mudenda to become
the next speaker of Parliament.
Khaya-Moyo held ambitions
for the speaker’s post in 2008 but lost to the Movement for
Democratic Change’s (MDC) Lovemore Moyo. By not casting his
hat into the speaker race now, Zanu-PF insiders say this indicates
that Khaya-Moyo has set his sights on the vice-presidency.
Trevor Maisiri, a senior
analyst from the International Crisis Group, said Zanu-PF would
also want to consolidate its gains made in the two Matabeleland
provinces in the elections and would do so by appointing someone
from the region.
the most likely. He holds the most senior post in the party on the
side of former Zapu members. The party would also want to consolidate
its political grip and even extend it to the remaining domains held
by the MDC,” Maisiri said.
If Khaya-Moyo is elevated,
it could cause further jostling in the party as Zanu-PF officials
line up to take up his post of national chairperson. Didymus Mutasa
is seen as a probable replacement.
Mpofu, the outgoing mines
and mining development minister, once tried to challenge the late
Nkomo for the post of second vice-president. But he withdrew his
bid after being told by senior Zanu-PF officials to respect the
But Mpofu’s wealth
has given him great influence in the Matabeleland provinces and
he holds significant sway in the party structures. In the past two
elections, Mpofu has comfortably retained control of the Umguza-Nyamandlovu
Mpofu is seen as Khaya-Moyo’s
strongest challenger, although he holds a junior rank in Zanu-PF’s
chain of command.
chairperson of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said Mpofu was
far too low down in the pecking order, making his election unlikely.
“His influence in the mining sector and control
of the Marange diamonds will unfortunately not be enough for
him to leapfrog Khaya-Moyo,” Mukundu said.
chances of landing the post of vice-presidency would be a breach
of party hierarchy, it would be a strong catalyst to position him
to succeed Mugabe.
Reports indicate that
Mnangagwa, the outgoing defence minister, leads a faction in Zanu-PF
that is sparring with another faction led by Mujuru to take over
favour is the support lent to him by the military’s top brass,
which is suspicious of Mujuru’s moderate policies and open-door
policy towards the MDC.
His elevation to vice-president
could lead to a bitter face-off between him and Mujuru to gain control
of the party.
Mlotshwa said, should Mugabe promote Mnangagwa, he was “not
sure if Zanu-PF will be able to survive such a dogfight”.
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