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Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, atte...

PRESIDENT FOR LIFE?

Who will succeed Mugabe?
Since 1980 when Zimbabwe got her independence, she has not known any other leader besides Robert Mugabe. Years have rolled by, elections held and yet in his own party, no one seems to notice that Mugabe now needs to be replaced. But and the “BIG” but is who will dare open their mouth and utter that Mugabe must go. I was surprised that Zanu Pf actually nominated Mugabe to run for president in the elections due this year if ever they will take place. With his poor health, the 87-year-old Mugabe will be 92 in five years time when Zimbabweans are due for another official election. Whether Mugabe will serve another full term or not, nobody knows but the big question that isn’t being asked is who will take over from him?

At the moment there is a witch hunt in Zanu Pf on 5 of it’s Mp’s on who voted for Lovemore Moyo for speaker of parliament. Zanu PF has embarked on a witch hunt to sniff out its Members of Parliament  who voted for the Tsvangirai led Movement for Democratic Change Lovemore Moyo to the position of speaker of parliament in violation of the party’s arrangement to back Paul Themba Nyathi of the Arthur Mutambara led MDC. Everyone in Zanu Pf  is scared and they don’t know what lies in store for them but knowing Mugabe, there is only one action that he is liable of taking and it normally ends up with death.

There are signs of cracks in the Zanu Pf Party and one wonders what would happen if Mugabe suddenly dies. I can assure you that there will be a blood bath within the rank and file of the senior members of the party. There are too many divisions in Zanu Pf and there are too many people who are waiting for that opportunity to become Mugabe’s successor. One would think that Joice Mujuru would take over but it’s not that simple, Emerson Munangagwa and Joice Mujuru do not get along at all. The ZANU-PF Women’s League resolved at its annual conference held in September 2004 to put forward a female candidate for the party’s vice-presidency, a position left vacant following the death of Simon Muzenda. Mugabe bowed to pressure from a ZANU-PF faction led by Mujuru’s husband, General Solomon Mujuru, to give a woman the second vice-presidency post—effectively sidelining speaker of parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, widely seen as his favoured heir.

Mujuru and Mnangagwa are both ruthless individuals and have backing from different state machinery. Mujuru has connections in the army and the CIO whereas Manangagwa has his connections in the police and air force but there are rumours that Joyce Mujuru blew her chances to take over the top job after she was caught working with Finance Minister Tendai Biti to usurp his powers on currency and exchange rate issues. Mugabe is convinced that Mujuru is not reliable and should not be allowed to take over from him because of this issue and her other controversial actions before. Some years ago Mugabe angrily berated Mujuru on national television for allegedly plotting to oust him.

While Mujuru’s prospects now seem damaged, her rival Emmerson Mnangagwa seems to be on the up. Mujuru is fighting with Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe but Mnangagwa was said to have recovered lost political ground after he was outmanoeuvred by the Mujuru faction in Zanu-PF’s elective congress last year.

After this analysis, I am still confused and wondering about who exactly is going to replace Mugabe when he steps down or when he finally kicks the bucket. Your guess is just as good as mine….!

WHO WILL SUCCEED MUGABE?

By Gladys Ganyani
Human Rights and Political Activitist

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