Zanu PF is divided on factional lines with the Mnangagwa faction fighting a war of attrition with the rival G40 faction over President Robert Mugabe’s succession.
G40 has coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe and has been pushing for Mnangagwa’s ouster since he was appointed vice-president in December 2014.
The push has been resisted by war veterans, some organs of the party as well as state institutions such as the military which have fought in Mnangagwa’s corner.
Ahead of last year’s conference in Victoria Falls, the Women’s League pushed for a resolution that one of the vice-presidency positions be reserved for a woman. They, however, failed to push through the resolution during conference amid strong resistance from the Mnangagwa camp which pushed for an ex-Zapu female member to be a vice-president, arguing the last female vice-president was from the Zanu side.
The women’s demand was then parked. But the matter is far from over. Insiders said some Women’s League members want the issue revisited at the party’s conference in December this year.
“We made a resolution in Victoria Falls that the quota system should be back. We even proposed a timeline and we are now preparing for another annual conference without the implementation of the resolution,” said one source. “We will discuss the issue when we meet on Friday.”
Grace and her allies have also been contemplating turning the December conference into an extraordinary congress where the vice-presidency will be up for grabs.
The women’s assembly, with support from the Youth League, is planning rallies to drum up support for a woman vice-president in a bid to ratchet up pressure on Mnangagwa for him to crumble in the heat of the suffocating race. Mugabe will attend and address the Women’s League assembly.