HARARE - Zanu PF succession is cryptic.
Let no one tell you conclusively how it is going to end.
We can only speculate because the players in this convoluted game have and continue to keep all the cards close to their chests.
But one thing is certain: President Robert Mugabe’s succession issue is now reaching boiling point and the homestretch.
Events of the past month suggest that ,while the issue is cryptic, at least there is a sneak peek into what’s likely to happen after the party’s elective congress which is due December.
And this is a no brainer; everything is centred on Mugabe, who, himself, is showing signs of publicly entangling in the divisive factionalism which has the potential to split his party.
Firstly, the emergence of Grace Mugabe from the political wilderness to assume the top post as secretary for women despite stringent party rules which had just been tightened a week before her entrance, is a sign of the change of script from the one that we have been reading since 1998.
It is foolish to dismiss Grace as it is also laughable to think that she has no significant influence in the succession battle.
Secondly, Mugabe’s lack of protection for Vice President Joice Mujuru from her rivals in the party during an emergency meeting at the State House 10 days ago, characterises a man who is slowly but surely getting publicly irritated to the extent he can act without diplomacy.
Mugabe has always acted with decorum, chastising his colleagues privately while acting nonchalantly publicly.
At the State House, he allowed disgruntled youths to air their grievances in full view of his ministers and Mujuru in the aftermath of the shambolic elections which were marred by
vote buying and bribery.
Mugabe ‘‘witnessed’’ these firsthand.
More tellingly, Mugabe did not stop the youths from attacking Mujuru, party national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, Webster Shamu and Didymus Mutasa.
He even asked Mujuru to respond to allegations made by one of the losing youth candidates, in full view of juniors.
Thirdly, the emergence of Grace Mugabe brings two minded groups together who also share the same interests.
The military, over the years has always influenced things in Zanu PF, though quietly, to maximum effect.
It is also not in dispute that over the years some in the middle and top echelons of the military have amassed wealth and would want to secure their economic interests.
How the wealth was amassed is not an issue!
Mugabe and his family have businesses and would also, just like those in the echelons mentioned earlier, want to secure their economic interests.
It makes sense for Grace and some in the military to have a common a goal and that being defined by their wealth and economic interests.
They are like minded!
Lastly, it is in their interests to have an aspiring president (Mugabe successor) who shows beyond doubt that he or she is capable of protecting these economic interests and offer
On paper, it looks like Emmerson Mnangagwa fits the bill.
This is especially so considering the statement by Grace at her orphanage in Mazowe where she revealed they were others who promised kundizvizvurudza mutara kana vaMugabe vaenda.
And the vituperative attack on Mujuru and her allies afterwards, especially during the provincial central committee nominee meetings, were telling.
Mnangagwa himself is revitalised exactly 10 years after he had been humiliated and humbled after the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration in 2004.
From a minister of Rural Housing and Social Amenities to a strong contender to succeed Mugabe, Ngwena as Mnangagwa is known, could be within striking distance.
But there is a brooding feeling within those who prefer Mujuru that perhaps Mugabe could play his last card in December.
One thing that is certain though, is that Grace Mugabe will have a huge say on who secures her family’s economic interests and this has resonance in the military corridors!