ZANU-PF has voted to remove president Robert Mugabe as party leader and replace him with former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The motion was carried out by over 200 of the 300 central committee members who attended the Zanu PF central committee meeting in Harare this morning.
The meeting was chaired by Obert Mpofu, the current Minister of Home Affairs.
Addressing the meeting, Mpofu said: “Well done to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for allowing the people of Zimbabwe to express their political wishes without fear. The ZDF have taken a bold step and freed his Excellency Robert Mugabe from the closet of those that wanted to destroy this country.
Furthermore, Mpofu said: “The people of Zimbabwe have spoken as was demonstrated yesterday by the massive crowds in support of action taken by ZDF. The party wishes to thank all people of Zimbabwe regardless of party affiliation for a job well done . Our people are demanding from us to show leadership by recalling Mugabe from his position as leader of the party. I trust that each one of you will freely express your wishes.”
Mpofu briefly acknowledged Mugabe’s contribution to the liberation of the country. However, he added that it was unfortunate that over the last five years some people had taken advantage of his frail condition to usurp power from him.
The meeting also gave a resounding denouncement of dynastic political power by dismissing Grace Mugabe’s as leader of the woman’s league in Zanu-Pf.
Before the army putsch six days ago Mpofu, a wealthy politician with various business interests in mining, security and transport, was considered one of Mugabe’s staunch supporters within the party.
Even before the central committee resolution Mugabe’s power base had been significantly whittled down after 10 provinces voted for his recall as leader of Zanu-Pf.
In addition, the influential youth league which has been fiercely loyal to Mugabe today called for him to leave office “so that he can rest as the elderly statesman he is.”
On the other hand Mugabe’s wife, Grace was treated less gracefully by a resolution taken by the youths to have her thrown out of the party.
If any proof was needed to underline the fact that the fate of the 93 year old leader has finally been sealed, it was the emotional scenes of jubilation which followed Mpofu’s speech. Central committee member who until recently wouldn’t have dreamt of being on the wrong side of Mugabe sang revolutionary songs that would have felt like hot daggers in his heart.
The central committee also want members of the G40 faction backing Grace Mugabe’s lofty ambition to succeed Mugabe to be fired from the party. They include Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao and Ignatius Chombo.
Meanwhile, a member of Zanu-Pf told a cheering crowd gathered in Harare that sources close to negotiations with Mugabe, including an unnamed member of Mugabe’s family, had confirmed that he had agreed to resign.
“Three sources told us he has resigned but he is still in the country,” the speaker said. “But this has not yet been confirmed by people who are involved in the negotiations with Mugabe.”
A source close to Mugabe’s aides has revealed that the geriatric president has been having a hard time coming to terms with ‘betrayal by his trusted lieutenants.’ Mugabe has apparently not been taking regular meals or baths since last Wednesday. The source said it has taken the intervention of Father Fidelis Mukonori, who is close to Mugabe, to get him to eat or take a bath.
“Since the day Mugabe met the generals at State House, he has cast a lonely figure,” the source said. “Only a few relatives are allowed to meet with him. He spends most of his time looking at an old photo of his first and late wife, Sally Mugabe. It is terrible.”