Zimbabwe's first lady gets ruling party post

Grace Mugabe, wife of long-serving president, named head of ZANU-PF women's wing, underlining her rapid political rise.

    Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party has confirmed President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace as the new head of its women's wing at a congress.

    Grace Mugabe's appointment, approved to the cheers of 12,000 delegates in a parade ground in central Harare on Saturday, gives her a seat on the ruling party's top decision-making politburo.

    The development underlined her rapid political rise in the country.

    Over the last three months, the 49-year-old first lady has carried out a campaign against Vice President Joice Mujuru, who until recently was a leading contender in a behind-the-scenes battle to eventually succeed the 90-year-old president.

    Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980, openly denounced Mujuru when he opened the congress on Thursday, accusing her of leading a group within the ruling party intent on ousting him from power.

    Mugabe's comments appeared to effectively elbow out Mujuru from the race to take over from him as both ZANU-PF's and Zimbabwe's leader, leaving a seemingly clear path for her rival Emmerson Mnangagwa, the justice minister.


    The infighting within the ruling party has increased uncertainty in a country grappling with economic problems which critics blame on decades of mismanagement by Mugabe.


    His controversial policies, including the forcible acquisition of white-owned commercial farms for blacks, have alienated Western donors who also accuse Mugabe of rigging elections since 2000 to stay in power.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.