Heavily Pressured Mugabe Dashes Into Politburo Meeting
President Robert Mugabe, who is facing pressure from both within his Zanu PF party and the nation at large, will on Wednesday preside over a crucial Politburo meeting. As the ruling party counts down to the December Conference, focus is likely to be on the factions jockeying to replace him, one led by his wife Grace the G-40 and another linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa Team Lacoste.
Deep fractures emerged in the ruling party recently after previously loyal war veterans broke ranks and in a controversial communique not only called on Mugabe to step down but also openly endorsed his deputy Mnangagwa as their preferred leader to replace him. Mnangagwa came out to distance himself from the both the communique and the war veteran leaders who are now on charges of undermining the authority of the president – but, the die had been cast.
The Politburo meeting also takes place at the same time the hearing of an urgent application by opposition parties and activists challenging the validity of the police ban on all demonstrations in the central business district will be heard.
The state media reports saying : that Zanu-PF has lined up two crucial meetings this week where security and economic issues are expected to be top on the agenda. The Politburo meets tomorrow followed by the Central Committee on Friday. The Central Committee is the party’s highest decision making body in-between congresses. Zanu-pf secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo confirmed the development last night.
“We have the two important meetings, starting with the Politburo on Wednesday, and the Central Committee will meet on Friday,” he said.
“Members are expected to attend and must be seated by 10am as usual.”
Asked about the agenda, Chombo said: “These are our routine meetings and as usual, the agenda will be disclosed to members and the media will get feedback after the meetings.”
Sources, however said, security issues would likely be tackled during the two meetings.
“As you are aware, there have been demonstrations, most of them illegal, by the opposition parties and their proxies in the civil society and, this is a matter Politburo members will look at,” said the source.
“You remember they have looted shops, burnt cars and attacked innocent people and these need to be discussed.”
Added the source: “The revolutionary party puts the economy at the fore and this is likely to be up for discussion. Disciplinary cases will also be on the table. As you are aware, there are a lot of outstanding cases and those concluded, if any, will be put on the table.”
In the wake of the violent demonstrations, police banned demonstrations in Harare for the next two weeks citing inadequacies in Section (26) of the Public Order and Security Act (Chapter 11:17) to prevent disorder being caused by such processions.
The ban became effective last Friday.
Police also banned the carrying of catapults and axes among other traditional weapons likely to be used to instigate violence. The violent protests, being orchestrated by the MDC-T and Zimbabwe People First, have seen the destruction of property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Western embassies such as France and the United States were implicated as chief funders of some shadowy groups such as #Tajamuka as part of their regime change agenda in Zimbabwe. State media