Monday, 23 November 2015

Gender equaty demand by G40 could be check mate for Mnangagwa

“First Lady Grace Mugabe's presumed ambitions to elbow out Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the post-congress Zanu-PF's bitter war to succeed President Robert Mugabe got a massive boost yesterday,” reported the Daily News.

“The ruling party's women's league in Mashonaland West province openly moved to demand the mooted return of a women's quota system in the Zanu-PF constitution, a clear statement that they want the first lady to take over from Mnangagwa as party vice president.”

Mnangagwa’s bid to be VP was foiled the last minute in 2004 when Mugabe unilaterally and in violation of Zanu PF’s constitution introduced a new clause in the party constitution stipulating there was to be at least one woman in the party’s presidium. So the only vacant position in the presidium at the time was the one he was gunning for and it was give to Joice Mujuru. Now it looks like this same gender-equality clause - Mugabe conveniently disregarded it last year because it did not fit his selfish scheme at the time but it does so now - is back to haunt Mnangagwa again. 

"Provincial members, central committee members, national executive members and politburo members, including Senate president Edna Madzongwe, were among the more than 300 members of the women's league who demanded a return to the quota system,” an impeccable source told Daily News.

"This means that Amai is our candidate to occupy the VP post. It was also recommended that the youth leader, Vengai Musengi, be relieved of his duties on allegations that he was campaigning for Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa."

So Vengai Musengi is to be fired for campaigning for Mnangagwa and yet these people demanding his dismissal are by so doing committing the identical “crime”, campaigning for Grace, they punishing him for. This goes to show the shamelessly distorted and rotten everything in Zanu PF have become; rule of law and even common sense have all been thrown out of the window. This is now a party of thugs and it is dog-eat-dog!

Yes it would be “check mate” for Mnangagwa if Grace’s supporters can table the motion demanding restoration of gender-representation in the presidium and the Mnangagwa faction fail to fight back. They can throw the cat among the pigeons, if they really wanted to.

If I was Mnangagwa, I would actively support the re-activation of the gender-equality clause in the party’s constitution but, now that the delegates are reviewing the constitution, demand the re-activation of the clause giving back the party members the power to elect all the candidates in the presidium. The move will stop the incumbent VPs becoming so weak because they are beholden to the president who appointed them and, worse still, will stop nepotism in the appointment of VPs. 

“Yes comrades we must revert to the old constitution so that among the party's top three leaders, at least one must be a man or woman. But we must also revert to the old constitution giving congress delegates the meaningful say in the form of a free and secrete vote to decide who will those top leaders of our party should be,” I would argue, if I was Mnangagwa or one of his faction supporters.

“Zanu PF is a democratic party that believes in gender equality. We do not pay lip service to these values but put them into practice in our daily lives. Delegates I move that we put these two anomalies that have crept in our party constitution right here and now. Pamberi mberi neZanu PF! …….. Pamberi mberi naComrade President Gabriel Robert Mugabe ! ……Thank you comrades!”

The speech should be received with thunderous applause from Mnangagwa faction members but also from all the delegates who know in their hearts of hearts that for decades they have been taken for a ride. They know that this gender equality motion has nothing to do with the nation’s desperate need for quality and competent leaders; they are being short changed in the name of gender equality.

For Mnangagwa and his supporters this will be the last throw of the dice, if they chicken out and fail to cheat them again then they are doomed. I would like to believe there will be someone in Mnangagwa’s faction sober enough to realize this and, more significantly, crazy enough to stop Mugabe riding roughshod over everyone once again. Crazy enough to ensure Mugabe does not have the last laugh.

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