Mugabe mum on vice president appointment

Current Zimbabwean vice president, Joice Mujuru, boycotted the event and may lose her post.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. Picture: AFP.

HARARE - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says he does not want to "rush to choose people" while closing his party congress without announcing who his two vice presidents will be.

Joice Mujuru, the current vice president, boycotted the event and she may lose her post when an announcement is made later this week.

Mugabe said those who were not at the congress have already said goodbye.

That was an unmistakable reference to Mujuru, who chose to stay away from the meeting after she was accused of plotting with Western powers to topple Mugabe.

The way is now open for the appointment of two new vice presidents.

Before he can do that, Mugabe will need to announce a new politburo, which he's said he will do by Wednesday or Thursday.

There's been some speculation Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who led a faction opposed to Mujuru, could be one of them but that is still far from certain.

Yesterday the Zimbabwean president was elected to lead his ZANU-PF party for another five years.

The 90-year-old president has also formally appointed his wife, Grace, to lead his party's influential women's league, her first position in politics and one many believe she will build on to reach the presidency herself.

Thousands of delegates chanted the president's clan name, Gushungo, and broke into song at the announcement that Mugabe was the only candidate chosen to lead ZANU-PF.

This means that Mugabe will be the party's presidential candidate for the next election in 2018, when he will be 94.