Quit power now, Mugabe advised

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe, who is facing growing resistance from Zimbabweans to his 36 years in power, has once again been advised to quit high office and appoint a successor, to avoid plunging the country into total chaos.

Human Rights Watch senior researcher for southern Africa, Dewa Mavhinga, warned in an interview with the Daily News yesterday that the country could soon be plunged into anarchy, as there was no end in sight to Zanu PF’s ugly and seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars.

“Mugabe made the mistake of leaving the succession issue until too late. So, now he is damned if he does and damned if he does not. Zanu PF is unlikely to come out of the succession issue a single party. A split is inevitable, and that is what Mugabe would want to avoid.

“At this point I do not see a way out for President Mugabe except to bite the bullet and name a successor and step down. Failing that the ongoing factional fights will continue to tear the party and the country apart,” he said.

“There could also be a faction in Zanu PF that is stocking the fires of protests in order to find excuses to blame the leadership of the security forces for the chaos and get Mugabe to fire them, and therefore pave way for one faction to take over. But whichever way one looks at this, it is the endgame.

“The only way out, which Mugabe may be forced by circumstances to consider, would be to facilitate a process for a fresh governing mandate from the people of Zimbabwe, unless the opposition agrees to some kind of second government of national unity,” Mavhinga added.

With Zanu PF fast being devoured by its deadly factionalism, fuelled by Mugabe’s failure to manage his succession, his long-time aide, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was initially believed to be a shoo-in to succeed the nonagenarian, is under fire from a party faction known by the moniker Generation 40, which is strongly opposed to his mooted presidential ambitions.

Mnangagwa’s backers, who include disaffected war veterans, argue that the man nicknamed Ngwena (crocodile) remains the most senior party official who should succeed Mugabe in the event that the nonagenarian steps down or is forced out by natural circumstances.

The jockeying and fighting is so bad that it is affecting government business, as potential investors worriedly remain on the sidelines – discouraged by the deadly ructions which have seen policy discord become the order of the day in government.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is in the middle of an economic crisis of huge proportions which has sparked riots and crippling strikes, as fed up citizens bring their pressure to bear on Mugabe and Zanu PF.

Just over a week ago, angry traders, both in Zimbabwe and South Africa, staged a four-hour demonstration in the border town of Beitbridge over a government import ban on South African-sourced basic goods.

The protests later turned riotous, leading to the destruction of property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as the arrest of 71 people.

And on Monday last week, deadly riots broke out in Harare as a strike by commuter omnibuses over police roadblocks turned violent.

Civil servants – including teachers, nurses and doctors – also staged their own strike last week over delayed salaries, before ordinary Zimbabweans heeded calls to stayaway from work in a crippling general strike dubbed Shutdown Zimbabwe.

Mavhinga said it was clear that Mugabe and his government had an “insurmountable task” of addressing people’s concerns, as the economy was accelerating towards the abyss.

“Chances that Mugabe and his party will solve this economic and cash crisis are low because the country is broke, and I do not see countries like the UK and the US bailing Zimbabwe out in the absence of serious political and economic reforms that would attract foreign investment,” he told the Daily News.

Last week, finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and central bank governor John Mangudya were in Europe trying to woo investors to the country.

Comments (6)

Even if he appoints a successor people have rejected the whole oligarchy. We need a new government from top to bottom period. A popular government not one which steals results for 5 weeks and kills unarmed civilians.

Sagitarr - 11 July 2016

it would be naive and careless to ask the president to step aside 3 years into a fresh mandate,the presidents record is there for all to see,our literacy rate is the highest in africa,we have no peers when it comes to access to clean water and housing on the continent,talk of infant mortality we far much ahead,these challenges shall pass the people need to understand

truth - 11 July 2016

@truth these challenges shall pass and along with them Zanu shall pass too. Things change, times change and should the leadership of Zim. If Zanu wantos to be relavent its better for it to embrace change and work at being part of the system as change takes place than for them to be stuck in an 1970's mentality that will not move us forward in 2016. We are tired, even your leader is tired, let the man rest. Its easier to blame a person who has been there for too long for our troubles, if he wants to save his dignity and name let him leave, so others can try and fail too and then we can say it is wasn't his fault.but until he leaves then yes we shall continue to advocate for him to leave. #youth #ourlivesandfuturesmattertoo.

B Moyo - 12 July 2016

Mcberth was told by the witches that no man born of a woman will ever defeat him, and that he has been greeted as the Thane of Caldo and Thane of Glamis. He took this a nd killed an old king and little did he know that macdof's sons will overthroiw him as they were reaped untimely from their mother's womb, hence fullfiling the prophecy of the witches. Rekai Tangwena. said Tekere will die natural death, even though Mugabe tried to kill him, untimely. He further alludes that Mugabe will leave his power when he wants, Rekai Tangwena did not explain what will make Mugabe reliquishe power voluntarily. Mugabe is not seeing that old age, popular revolt and he will voluntarily say I step down. Revolts does not kill, but make some one give up.

amina - 12 July 2016

@truth, forgive me for being blunt but it seems you are an uneducated fool. Let me give you a history lesson on examples of leaders who have had to step down during a fresh mandate. 1. President Ahmadou Ahidjo of Cameroon resigned in 1982 in the middle of a fresh mandate. 2. Prime minister Petr Necas of the Czech Republic was forced to step down because of corruption and bribery during his term. 3. In Greece, the government of George Papandreou resigned in 2011 during their fresh mandate. Now that I have given you some examples of leaders who stepped down during a fresh mandate, I will tackle your second argument which you used a premise for Mugabe's continued stay in power. You talk about having the highest literacy in Africa – fair and fine. Answer me this what have we done with it? Our literacy has failed to bring about solutions needed to tackle issues within our community as evident by the high percentage of unemployment in the country, crushing cash crisis, unproductive industries, idle land which has been left fallow. All this in the midst of highly educated and literate individuals.

Donnie aka Zimbabwe ndeyegende - 12 July 2016

You also go on to generalize that we all have access to to clean water and housing which is a fallacy at best. This is based on the fact that many people have had to drill boreholes and some travel for long distances just to get water to bathe as well as cook with. So tell me my brother, what isn't prudent about removing our liberation hero and his cronies whom have turned state capturers? You say these problems we are currently facing will pass, mainly because like your employers you have lost touch with the ordinary citizen on the ground. Desensitized from the plight of your brothers you have chosen to be an instrument for a group of individuals who are in contravention of the social contract that they have with the Zimbabwean people. A social contract that is suppose to guarantee equality of men regardless of creed, social standing, etc. Its true that the Presidents record is out there for all to bare witness, high unemployment, inability to pay workers who have had the governments back for the most part of 36 years, Zimbabweans that are scattered around the world forced to become 3rd class citizens, because of the inability to make in at home when we are all son's of the soil. Gone are the days when Zimbabwe is called ndeyeropa because Yave Yegende! And we will fight peacefully till the day when it becomes what it is meant to be. I am ashamed to be called a Zimbabwean when people like @truth open their mouths to make utterances that show how selfish and foolish they are. Pasi ne oppression

Donnie aka Zimbabwe ndeyegende - 12 July 2016

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