Impeccable sources said the communist-style politburo that is chaired by Mugabe himself will meet at party headquarters in Harare, the second time in 10 days that the committee will be sitting to discuss the contentious succession issue that has seen fault lines starting to emerge right through the centre of ZANU PF.

The sources said the task of the committee today would be to make recommendations on a succession formula clearly stipulating how Mugabe and other senior leaders would be succeeded once they decide to leave office – a thinly disguised way to describe the issue of Mugabe’s succession.

“A committee to come up with a succession plan for the party should be set up tomorrow (today),” one of the sources said. The committee is expected to be made up of some of the people stoking factionalism in the party in their bid to land the party presidency.”

The sources said the committee was likely to be made up of women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri, secretary for security Nicholas Goche, secretary for legal affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa and committee member Solomon Mujuru, among others.

At last week’s meeting, a heated debate erupted after committee member Rugare Gumbo told the politburo that ZANU PF was riddled with factionalism because it had failed to come up with a succession plan for Mugabe.

The matter was then deferred to today after Mnangagwa pointed out that the matter was had been brought up before the politburo unprocedurally because it had not been on the agenda.

Mnangagwa is allegedly heading a faction fighting to control ZANU PF against the other headed by Mujuru, a powerful former commander of Zimbabwe’s army who wants his wife and presently one of Mugabe’s deputies, Joice Mujuru, to take the party top job ahead of Mnangagwa.

ZANU PF deputy spokesperson Ephraim Masawi confirmed today’s politburo meeting, but declined to reveal its agenda.

“We are having a special politburo meeting tomorrow (today) whose agenda is a privilege of members,” Masawi said.

The sources said during last week’s meeting, it was apparent that Mugabe would retain the presidency of the party at its congress in December, but a succession plan would be put in place in case the 85-year-old leader opts out of politics or is incapacitated somehow. 

The sources said there was unprecedented debate on Mugabe’s succession that left senior party leaders shocked and sensing what could be the beginning of the unravelling one of southern Africa’s once strongest political parties unless the divisive succession issue was handled more carefully. – ZimOnline