Zimbabwe VP blocked from top post in ruling party

AP News
Posted: Nov 26, 2014 12:21 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's Vice President Joice Mujuru was barred from running for a seat on a top committee of the ruling party, on Wednesday, amid accusations she plotted to assassinate President Robert Mugabe, 90.

Mujuru, 59, once seen as a top contender to succeed Mugabe, was blocked from seeking a seat on the soviet-style Central Committee of the ruling Zanu-PF party, according to reports in state-run media.

Several of her political allies, including Cabinet ministers, have also been prevented from running for seats in the 245-member Central Committee, mainly on accusations of undermining Mugabe and his wife Grace.

Her party rivals and state newspapers have linked Mujuru to an alleged plot against Mugabe, reportedly planned by two senior Cabinet ministers. Mujuru has denied the accusations.

Party officials in Mujuru's constituency in the Mashonaland Central province, in the north of the country, said they would reject the vice president's application if she were to run for a seat. The party's provincial brachnes elect their candidates for the Central Committee, who are then ratified by the Zanu-PF party congress. The party's annual congress will be held in Harare in early December.

Mujuru retains her position as vice president of the country, a position elected by parliament. Mujuru, who is a veteran of Zimbabwe's guerrilla war to end white minority rule, has been in government since the country gained independence in 1980.