Mugabe feels heat on return

HARARE - With Zanu PF’s deadly factional and succession wars reaching what insiders say is “a tipping point”, and Zimbabwe continuing on its precipitous economic decline that is blamed on the ruling party, all eyes are on President Robert Mugabe (pictured) who has just returned from his annual holiday in the Far East.

The increasingly-frail nonagenarian, who turns 92 next month, made a low key return to the country on Friday evening — unusually dispensing with his normal practice of addressing bussed in Zanu PF supporters at Harare International Airport, and not speaking to State media.

Well-placed Zanu PF sources who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday reiterated the sentiments of the past few months that only the nonagenarian could stop the mindless bloodletting devouring the former liberation movement, which is having a devastating effect on the country’s economy and its long-suffering citizens.

“I think you guys in the media do not fully appreciate the fact that the president is at the heart of everything that happens in this country.

“While we can all debate whether this is good for the country or not, the reality at the moment is that there is no solution that can be found for anything without his active participation, including the party’s (Zanu PF’s) regrettable succession fights,” a central committee member said.

The official’s sentiments tie in with what a politburo member told the Daily News on Sunday’s sister paper, the Daily News, last week — who implored Mugabe to act on Zanu PF’s escalating wars urgently and decisively, as he felt that the ructions had reached a tipping point.

“We have reached a tipping point beyond which all of us must forget about this party which we all claim to love so much. If there is any advice I can give the president, in fact this is a plea, it would be to act decisively now, before it is too late,” the dispirited bigwig said.

These sentiments of despair come in a month that has witnessed tumultuous developments — including yet another reported break-in at the offices of embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and yet another Cabinet minister receiving a bullet parcel in his hotel room, as Zanu PF’s savage infighting gets uglier by the day.

The bullet that Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane received a week ago, followed an order by the ruling party to its Midlands structure to conduct hearings against provincial bigwigs who stand accused of threatening him and two other ministers, as Mnangagwa’s home province is consumed by the party’s deadly factional and succession wars.

Unconfirmed media reports claimed at the weekend that police had dropped their investigations into the matter — a move that is set to stir a hornet’s nest if true, given the cloud of suspicion and deadly conspiracies enveloping the ruling party.

Another senior Zanu PF official told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that until Mugabe’s successor was in place, the ruling party’s wars could “only escalate”.

“There is no way of stopping the fighting until there is a winner, in this case a clear successor to the president. As it is, the two main factions slugging it out will be pushing the president to implement the demand for a women’s quota system in the party to achieve their factional interests. It’s war and one side has to win,” he said.

To complicate Mugabe’s task, analysts have warned that Zimbabwe is teetering on the brink of total collapse, a situation they say is spawning worsening citizen despondency which could lead to growing opposition to Zanu PF’s 36 years in power.

Political and economic observers have also warned that 2016 will in all likelihood be harder all-round compared to 2015, which was itself described as an “annus horribilis” (horrible year).

They say further that there is “little hope” that life will get better for most Zimbabweans, and that if anything, the country’s ailing economy will get sicker, while the deadly factional and succession wars ravaging the post-congress Zanu PF are set to worsen.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) chief executive Christopher Mugaga said with all the country’s key economic indicators — including inflation, unemployment and gross domestic product growth — heading in the wrong direction, the only way out was for the government to “quell the crisis of mistrust within the country”.

“Politicians mistrust each other more than ever before while they are the custodians of policy proposals. This therefore leaves a void when it comes to thoroughness in implementation.

“It is also vital to find feasible strategies to look for foreign direct investment without necessarily relying on the carrot approach of relying on incentivising potential investors.

“Let the policy environment be transparent and consistent while relegating populist policy measures to the dustbin. For example, what is the rationale of even considering giving bonuses both to the civil service and the private sectors when all the numbers are pointing southwards?” Mugaga said.

In the meantime, South Africa-based political commentators say with Zimbabwe continuing to disappoint politically and economically, former Vice President Joice Mujuru could be the tonic that the country needs to start its recovery.

Speaking in a radio interview with African Dialogue, one of the analysts, Associate Professor in the Department of Development Studies at the University of South Africa, Sabelo Ndlovu, said this was more so given the failure of the opposition thus far to dislodge Zanu PF from power.

“This has led people to look for salvation elsewhere and Mujuru as a former insider has the potential to bring something which will dislodge Zanu PF unlike the MDCs which have failed to do this since 2000,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by senior project leader for southern Africa for Justice and Reconciliation in Africa, Webster Zamabara.

“The other bigger challenge is the issues of personal egos and personalities permeating in opposition politics such that there is no coalescing around coherent issues and perhaps that is one issue that will be atoned for by the entrance of Joice Mujuru’s People First,” he said.

Since launching her manifesto last year, which she has followed up strongly by setting up provincial structures nationwide, the former vice president has gained a lot of followers, harvesting many officials from the warring Zanu PF.

Comments (19)

it quite pathetic o suggest that mujuru hs any solutions to the political crisis of opposition politics, what I required is to force th ZANU hand to make life dire t levels where even their own can no longer feed, that will make a point in which hunger knows no boundary.

Wako Ndini - 24 January 2016

It is very important not to call fools political commentators bcoz how can a sane person think Mujuru has the power to remove Mugabe and zanu from power and build this country 's dead economy when it is known .Mujuru is zanu people of zim no longer want another zanu to lead them bcoz they already know how destructive is zanu . Never mind or listen to some dubious .professors who are not even in the country and know nothing about what is on the ground .People are standing by their opposition leaders bcoz they know that their leaders have not failed them but bcoz Mugabe has beaten up opposition followers and rigged elections simple as that and they will never follow anything that calls itself a leader in the manor mugodoyi does . That is wishful thinking by those who think Mujuru who is zanu through and has the solution for the country when she was in govt for 34 years destroying this country .If she was not chased away from zanu she would be still there doing more damage to this country . I urge these so called political commentators to get in combis or other gathering places listen to what people say about Mujuru they know she is zanu and do not like her ,Zimbabweans know who is their leader since 2000 and they will never abandon him till he bcomes president of this country . .

Diibulaanyika - 24 January 2016

Sometimes things have to hit rock bottom before things turn around.

david taylor - 24 January 2016

Why is Robert sneaking into the country after hours. We want to see the red carpert, stairs, the fidle and dirty dancing Kongonya. I am disappointed by this sudden absent of the famous routine.

X-MAN IV - 24 January 2016

Mugabe will feel nothing on return. He is only returning because he has a visitor in Teodoro Obiang Nguema who he has to entertain. After that he is off to the Africa Union summit and when he comes back his focus will be on the 92 candles he will blow in February. So he doesn't care about anything as long as he can fly in and fly out whenever he likes.

Inyika - 24 January 2016

I want to extent a challenge to all chrisitians in country to read this ebook called Zimbabwe Who Why and What Do You Worship. I am end time message believer myself. Since I read it I haven't been same since. Hard truths were we going wrong in country as Christians are in book. Free download it on httpscolonforwardslashforwardslash(areobooksdotcom)forwardslash(books)forwardslash(181).

Barnes Matanga - 25 January 2016

@Diibulaanyika , you are spot on these fake political commentators , in diaspora and lie to the people , Joyce is Zanu that is why she is seeking support from ex Zanu supporters she is evil and her hands are bleeding blood , she is not popular as the media claims . The real opposition and the real popular person who was voted by the people since 2000 is there and he is the only one people like . This South African professor must shut up and tell Zuma that Africa is not the biggest continent on earth and he must stop lying about Zimbabwe . ICHO

Mudhara - 25 January 2016

We will not take these political handicapped opposition parties especially MDC has been proved beyond blindman's sight that Tsvangirai and his political opportunists are nothing but economic and political pests.they were given a rare opportunity during gpa but what they dd was womanizing.Instead they should apologize for wasting our time.People are eager to vote for mujuru who seams to be politically matured than this blind tsvangirai.

NDEX - 25 January 2016

We will not take these political handicapped opposition parties especially MDC has been proved beyond blindman's sight that Tsvangirai and his political opportunists are nothing but economic and political pests.they were given a rare opportunity during gpa but what they dd was womanizing.Instead they should apologize for wasting our time.People are eager to vote for mujuru who seams to be politically matured than this blind tsvangirai.

NDEX - 25 January 2016

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kumbirai - 25 January 2016

What else do you expect from Mugabe except magwiriri throughout?

Dhurun'aru - 25 January 2016

people you may do well to accept that some us see the role mai mujuru is capable of playing in zim politics. mai mujuru is a moderate. she is willing to work with all progressive people to advance the country. she has my trust and therefore come 2018, my vote is with people first.

zvirozviyedzwa - 25 January 2016


bambo - 25 January 2016

We zimbabweans are not desperate we have a leader already and will make sure he becomes president of this country . Those who say Mujuru is good just look at them you will discover that they are all former gamatox and a few confused Mangoma followers who just follow anything finish and klaa . Like or hate him Morgan is the darling of this nation politically and has never killed any citizen of this country . the rest are gate crushers and pretenders zimbabweans know that .and will never want another zanu in the name of zanu Mujuru to spoil further their economy .

Diibulaanyika - 25 January 2016

Mujuru is not the answer.. Zimbabwe needs someone with a vision for instance Simba Makoni. looking at the opposition, no one is capable of taking us from were we are and to something better rather if they take over you are going to wish Mugabe back..

chomzy - 26 January 2016

Zvirozviyedzwa brain yako yakadyiwa ne muchenje kare. What do you expect this baobab Mujuru to do for Zimbabwe which she partook in destroying ? if you are dreaming of a postion in her government to join the looting club I am sorry to tell you that when Mugabe goes he makes sure nothing is left for you to loot. Zwirinani urote zvekurima mbambaira.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 26 January 2016

tanganda you are forgetting that each one has a democratic right to choose who to give their vote. given a choice btwn mugabe, tsvangirai and mujuru, i, like many other progressive thinkers would go for dr mother mujuru. she is a moderate and that is the kind of person we need post zanu pf. morgan is not democratic. as a matter of fact he is just like mugabe. he reserves power for only himself. we don't want politics of handiende.

zvirozviyedzwa - 26 January 2016

Punzanai panze ipapo.we the rling party have a takeover scheme n structure to acomodate yu all after election 2018.zanu haibude mu power,like any liberation movement in southern africa.which party ever got out of power.zanu will rejuvinate under lacoste,goko,ngwena.that day after election 2018,yu all will be welcome to shake Ngwena s hand ,Cde President,we congratulate yu in forming the incoming gorvenment.but that day,Moyo be very afraid of the river banks.

viola gwena - 27 January 2016

You need a leader who has not killed or maimed anyone to get where he or she is today. Someone with moral integrity and who is not puffed up with his/her own self importance. They need a strong moral compass who cares and is passionate about their country and improving the lives of his countrymen and women. He or She needs to pave a future for all, end the blame culture and look forward.

Zimbabwe Born - 28 January 2016

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