President Emmerson Mnangagwa has named Oppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri-Kashiri as the Zanu-PF National Chairperson. Muchinguri-Kashiri was named in Mnangagwa’s first cabinet as the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate. Muchinguri’s appointment will go down very well with women in general and members of the Zanu-PF Women’s League in particular, who have been calling for one of the seats in the Presidium to be allocated to a woman. The post was abolished by former President Robert Mugabe at the 2014 Congress. President Mnangagwa announced that he will reveal his Vice Presidents in the next few days. However, with Muchinguri-Kashiri being named National Chairperson, it means she is highly likely to be out of the running for the two VP posts. Earlier on today, social media was awash with rumours that Muchinguri-Kashiri was going to be named as Vice President.
Oppah Muchinguri was the leader of the Zanu-PF Women’ League until 2014, when she stepped down to make way for former first lady Grace Mugabe. After Mugabe’s fall last month, Muchinguri later claimed that she had been pushed into giving up her position for Grace Mugabe.
Oppah becomes the first woman to be appointed as the National Chairperson. In October when the G40 Faction appeared to be in the ascendancy there were reports that Team Lacoste, the alleged faction which was loyal to then-Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, was manoeuvring to have Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri nominated for the vice-presidency in the event that Mnangagwa was removed from his position at the Zanu-PF Extraordinary Congress.
Mugabe went on to expel Mnangagwa from both government and Zanu-PF. However, Mnangagwa rebounded in spectacular fashion to land the presidency after Mugabe stepped down following a military intervention from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.