Zanu PF to decide on Speaker of Parliament

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By Staff Reporter

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called for a snap meeting Monday of his Zanu PF party’s politburo reportedly to make a decision on who will be Speaker of the National Assembly as well as Senate President.

Sources within the ruling party that got a two-thirds majority in general elections two months ago said while current Speaker Jacob Mudenda still has a chance, outgoing Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa is in with a shout.

“Mudenda is hanging in there but it’s not cut and dry for him. Chinamasa could be appointed Speaker,” a source privy to the internal manoeuvres said.

“There is however no chance of survival for (Senate President) Edna Madzongwe given her age (75) and relationship with (former President Robert) Mugabe.

“She will definitely be relieved of her duties. There is talk that Mudenda could be moved to fill in Madzongwe’s current position (as Senate President).”

Party secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana confirmed the meeting was on.

“Yes, there is a meeting of the politburo tomorrow (Monday). I however, cannot discuss the agenda thereof,” Mangwana said last night.

Former home affairs minister Obert Mpofu

The Zanu PF politburo is also expected to rubber-stamp a proposal by Mnangagwa to allow some senior officials such as secretary for administration Obert Mpofu and Simon Khaya Moyo to work full-time at the party, joining national commissar Engelbert Rugeje with full ministerial benefits.

Madzongwe is a close relative of Mugabe who was forced out of power in a bloodless military coup last November that propelled his half a century lieutenant Mnangagwa to power.

Mnangagwa and Mugabe seem to have made up after frosty relations that saw the 94 year-old throwing his weight behind opposition leader Nelson Chamisa who went on to controversially lose the presidential election in July.

Mnangagwa set the dates for the election of the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Senate President and their deputies for Tuesday this week following the swearing in of all parliamentarians elected on July 30 last week.

The opposition MDC Alliance will, according to secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, field candidates which, given the margins Zanu PF has, will only be a token challenge for the snap polls.