'Mugabe wants no successor'

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s brutal pruning of Vice President Joice Mujuru’s allies has fuelled speculation that the nonagenarian is looking beyond his embattled deputy — and possibly Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa as well for a successor.

The glut of theories about how the 90-year-old is likely to solve his party’s worsening succession brawl come amid suggestions that the Zibagwe-Chirumanzu legislator is currently in the pounds seat to eventually takeover from the Zanu PF leader.

But some other dark horses such as Mugabe’s own wife, Grace — the self-appointed author of Mujuru’s woes — as well as Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi are also being increasingly talked about as well.

Although the reasons on the complex succession drama and conundrum are as varied as the sources on the subject, analysts say Mnangagwa is the best placed of all potential successors, particularly as his camp has played a key role in decimating Mujuru’s structures.

On the other hand, Sekeramayi’s equally important experience in the security and intelligence structures of the veteran leader’s successive governments, and  his relatively unblemished track record also places him in good stead to be a worthy contender.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, a media and democracy scholar, said the country was witnessing a repeat of the 2004 succession debacle and where Mugabe single-handedly felled Mnangagwa through unconstitutional means, and in favour of Mujuru.

“This does not mean that Mugabe wants him because if he wanted Mnangagwa he would have allowed him to take the vice presidency then. If the Justice minister benefits, it will be accidental because what the old man wants is to die in office and whoever will succeed him is not known,” he told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday.

“Essentially, the man wants to move from State House to the Heroes Acre, in a similar manner to what happened to the late Simon Muzenda, Joseph Msika and John Nkomo. The essence in Zanu PF is that succession is through death,” Ruhanya said, adding if Mugabe was to appoint a successor “it will be the greatest political surprise of the century”.

The British-trained academic added that if Mnangagwa was Mugabe’s favourite candidate, this would be clearer at Zanu PF’s December elective congress and if the former was rewarded with a big post.

Alex Magaisa, a Kent University law professor, said Mugabe’s moves against Mujuru were pre-emptive to ensure that she was not a serious challenger, but the old man was largely “working for himself more than anyone”.

“I think he has his own choice of a successor… and those who think they are within reach after the decimation of the Mujuru faction are mistaken. Mugabe is a master of divide and rule politics, and that is exactly what he has done so far,” the ex-Morgan Tsvangirai aide said.

“He used Mujuru to fight off Mnangagwa in 2004 and now he is using Mnangagwa to fight off Mujuru. He has no intention of leaving office, but he wants to ensure that whoever comes after him will be his choice, presumably someone who can look after his family. This is very personal,” Magaisa said.

The law professor also said Mujuru’s opponents feared that they could not compete against her and beat her in an internal party contest.

“The idea (currently) is to ensure that she does not even contest in an election… because of the fear that she could spring a surprise. Further, if it is correct… in terms of the Zanu PF constitution that for one to stand as a candidate for the VP post, they need the nomination of at least six provinces, this probably means, with chairpersons loyal to Mujuru now ousted, her chances of getting a nomination have been whittled down significantly,” Magaisa said.

“If this is the correct constitutional position, the suspension of provincial chairpersons would seem to effectively end Mujuru’s bid even for the VP position, let alone the presidency,” he added.

“But whatever the case, the set… has caused a seismic shift in power and advantage in the succession race, reducing Mujuru from a position of significant strength to a position of severe vulnerability. And the architect and main beneficiary of all this is Mugabe himself. He is merely doing in dramatic form what he has been doing since he took over Zanu’s leadership in 1976,” Magaisa said, adding that it is exactly what he did to comrades like Gumbo whom he “threw in pits for daring him”.

Gladys Hlatywayo, the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust executive director, said “both factions (Mnangagwa and Mujuru camps) in my opinion will not benefit as long as Mugabe is alive”.

“The president has been playing one faction against the other like a seesaw,” she said. “It is now evident that he wants to die in office. Mugabe is the biggest beneficiary of this entire charade. He is fixated on ruling until he joins his ancestors”.

Even, though, Mujuru’s career hangs in the balance, Mugabe could still very well retain her — albeit without key henchmen to push her charge for power, they said.

As it is, the move to unseat her has not been a stroll in the park given the other dynamics in Zanu PF, relative support base, security sympathies and the possible forces of nature (on Mugabe and those diametrically opposed to the status quo).

Comments (27)

Vanu weZANU PF muri wakadzi mese hamugoni kujamuka ko munonyeperei kuti makarwa hondo muri makwara evanhu zvino asara ndiwe Didmus mutasa,khaya moyo nemi wacho amai mujuru saka munotinyeperei kuti makaenda kuhondo kunobata pfuti neumbwende hwakadai . Just announce kuti all suspensions are invalid until congress kkkkk haamunonyepa kuti makabata pfuti ZANU PF Haisi chechi ipolitics oooooh haisi chechiba zvinoda kushinga

dofo - 16 November 2014

Vanu weZANU PF muri wakadzi mese hamugoni kujamuka ko munonyeperei kuti makarwa hondo muri makwara evanhu zvino asara ndiwe Didmus mutasa,khaya moyo nemi wacho amai mujuru saka munotinyeperei kuti makaenda kuhondo kunobata pfuti neumbwende hwakadai . Just announce kuti all suspensions are invalid until congress kkkkk haamunonyepa kuti makabata pfuti ZANU PF Haisi chechi ipolitics oooooh haisi chechiba zvinoda kushinga

dofo - 16 November 2014

Alex Magaisa is not a professor. He is a lecturer. He hasn't published enough to be a professor. He is a lecturer, the lowest rank in the academia. Musamukudza mhani. See here: http://www.kent.ac.uk/law/people/academic/Magaisa,_Alex.html

samanyika - 16 November 2014

Vasiri mbwebde ndivana temba mliswa, kaukonde, mudhara rugare gumbo, jabulani sibanda, na mai mujuru. ava ndivo varikuita kuti nyika ienderere mberi kwete kungo ramba vanhu vachingoimba rwiyo rwekurumbidza nguva dzese. these may seem to have lost but in actual fact they did not loose. they stood for what they believe which is important in life.

zvirozviyedzwa - 16 November 2014

Samanyika musagodoka kudara, asi hamuna kuende kuskuru!!

jojo - 16 November 2014

We are a VERY sick country simply because of leadership. Now the new president is coming Comrade Grace Mugabe....arikuya. Mr. Bob go back to Rwanda, you are not a true soldier of the Zimbabwean people, the Zimbabwean soil and heart. You are a very ill person.

baba gutu - 16 November 2014

The constitution which we all approved says Bob must serve his two terms as President until 2023. Simple. If you disagree with that, hard luck. Age is not an issue. He stands for the interests of the pipo.

mageja siziba - 16 November 2014

pipo ivawo netsitsi nechembere. iwe wadii kutonga uriiwe. why force our leader to go all that long way into 2023. kurwisa mabhunhu imhoswa here? most of you retire at 65 and you want the president to work well into his 100. why? lets be kind pipo.

zvirozviyedzwa - 16 November 2014

Mugabe knows that he needs to remain in power until he dies - without the police and military protection he, as President is provided, he'd be a dead man.

david taylor - 16 November 2014

chanetsa muzimbabwe varume vakuru vanendebvu vanogwadama vachinanzva kumhata kwevamwe varume because of a position.most of thoz in zanu pf ar a bunch of glorified confused politicians

wezhira - 16 November 2014

The goings-on in ZanuPF show Zimbabwean politics is very primitive. Anyone can accuse you of anything under the sun and there's nothing you can do about it. People are scared stiff to resign or hit back. They wait agonizingly to be fired. It's like the Mafia. Some are following the President to private funerals to try and save their skins - to show solidarity with the President. Nobody is safe from the bullet bar Mugabe, Grace and Patrick Joao. Now that arch-rival, Mutsvangwa, has been elected as leader of the violent so-called war veterans, Mutasa, must be packing his bags. Monica Mutsvangwa vowed to teach Mutasa a thing or two. The other one who has landed himself in the soup is Kembo Mohadi. He has totally misread the situation. You do not praise Joice Mujuru when Grace is saying Joice has to go. Those who are lucky are suspended. Jonathan Moyo is another one who might be fired if they go through what he said about Mugabe while he was in the political wilderness - his safest bet is to keep very quiet. What if one of these people commits suicide what will the devout-Catholic Mugabes say? This is no freedom by any definition. To survive you have to fawn over ZanuPF (RM) not ZanuPF (JM) or ZanuPF (EM). And ZanuPF (wv) is now the parallel government. The so-called war veterans are effectively the parallel government because they are the ones who dictate what should be done. Their decisions have the power of law. (RM) stands for Robert Mugabe, (JM) stands for Joice Mujuru, (EM) stands for Emmerson Mnangagwa and (wv) stands for so-called war veterans. If you fall foul of ZanuPF (RM) or ZanuPF (wv) and you occupy a farm, then you will have to leave that farm, forthwith. What a life? Where is the freedom? Where is the security?

Musona - 16 November 2014

In a normal country that respects its own constitution and has a real demarcation line between the ruling party and the government, Mujuru would lose her position as VP of ZANU PF only, and not that of the republic. In Mnangagwa, Mugabe has convinced himself and his wife that they have found a successor who will protect them and their assets and from prosecution. Grace is well aware as we are that politics is not her field, she had to be forced into it fairly recently in a well calculated but very poorly and rushed ochestrated move of positioning her as the Women's league chairperson aligned to a faction they believed would best serve their interests. The goal being to get Mugabe that well deserved peaceful rest, that's the pinnacle of this whole thing. He does not want to be a life president anymore. I will be proved right very very soon.

Dr Know - 16 November 2014

Mugabe wants to leave this notion that he left office after appointing a successor as would be expected in any other democratic state. This will leave a false legacy that he has left the country under a democratically elected leader and all the life presidency talk will be forgotten. He has planned that scheme and now that he feels he will be left to live a peaceful protected life,( whatwith his wife also now entrenched in the political corridors), he feels it is time to go. Mark my words.

Dr Know - 16 November 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 17 November 2014

The late Dr.Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled in the same way but what happened to him. The Mighty God has the power not the warvets. Time is coming and soon.

Tsvungu - 17 November 2014

The late Dr.Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled in the same way but what happened to him. The Mighty God has the power not the warvets. Time is coming and soon.

Tsvungu - 17 November 2014

The late Dr.Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled in the same way but what happened to him. The Mighty God has the power not the warvets. Time is coming and soon.

Tsvungu - 17 November 2014

The late Dr.Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled in the same way but what happened to him. The Mighty God has the power not the warvets. Time is coming and soon.

Tsvungu - 17 November 2014

The late Dr.Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled in the same way but what happened to him. The Mighty God has the power not the warvets. Time is coming and soon.

Tsvungu - 17 November 2014

Since 1980 Zanu PF claimed to be a party that has the interests of the country at heart. Today, the leadership is firing officers left and right claiming they are incompetent. These are men and woman who stood by the President thick and thin. What's all this fiasco just a few weeks before the Politiboro meeting? The President himself said "Zimbabwe is mine", when he was feuding with Tony Blair. A country does not belong to an individual. The current situation gives credence to the opposition that one man stands in the way of country's prosperity. He surrounded himself with inefficient team. That's a true puppet master.

Zikomu - 17 November 2014

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2836032/She-boasts-supernatural-powers-plunders-Zimbabwe-s-diamonds-buy-designer-shoes-nervous-nation-asks-Gucci-Grace-Mugabe-world-s-female-dictator.html

Mafirakureva - 17 November 2014

I'm really surprised by all of you learned commentators. You tell me that you have only gotten to know that Mugabe wants to die in office now! Then you are all not learned. I knew about this decades ago!

dick mboko - 17 November 2014

This is politics. Its not like we are going for a prayer kwa Magaya. What is happening in ZANU PF now is very normal..so let it be.

Truth - 17 November 2014

typing

lovemore muchazoreka - 19 November 2014

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