Mugabe's succession is story of the day

HARARE - Today, Zimbabwe stands on the brink of chaos if Zanu PF fails to deal decisively with its succession.

Without a shadow of doubt, President Robert Mugabe’s unresolved succession issue continues to affect the country and in so many ways.

Prospective investors are standing on the sidelines waiting to see positive signs that could encourage them to put their money in our near comatose economy.

As we have previously said, capital is a coward; it takes flight where there is risk.

The opposition, no matter how much it tries to offer an alternative to Zanu PF, question marks will always be hanging over a smooth transition as the future is not clear given the current mindless bloodletting in Zanu PF over the party’s dithering on naming Mugabe’s successor.

It is frightening that, as we report elsewhere in this paper, the party’s apparatchiks are scrambling to gag and warn members from openly encouraging Mugabe to name a successor.

Why would Zanu PF continue to stifle debate when it is clear that its failure to persuade Mugabe to deal with finality on this issue has driven the country to the brink?

Crucially, Zanu PF itself is almost imploding as factions go hammer and tongs at each other with disastrous results as evidenced by the paralytic effects these fights have had on the economy.

That is why it is refreshing that War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube has broken ranks with the tradition in Zanu PF by openly backing former liberation war fighters who are ratcheting up pressure on Mugabe to name his successor to end the dog-eat-dog infighting ravaging his party over his succession.

Of course, there are many different opinions about who should be second in line.

The peak of this rancourous quarrel will come when a vacancy arises in the presidency. This raises the spectre of deadly chaos which could descend into war.

Given the military’s interest in succession politics, there is real risk of attempts to subvert the constitutional process, with disastrous consequences for peace and order.

Zanu PF must know that the issue of Mugabe’s successor affects everyone and it is not their baby alone — because an orderly succession plan guarantees stability, peace and forward planning.

As things stand, no one knows for sure how things are likely to pan out in the event of Mugabe leaving his post either due to natural causes or poor health.

Comments (1)

Mugabe should not name a successor. It is his party's congress that should do so. Why should Mr Mugabe go against his party's Constitution? And in a democracy, Mr Mugabe cannot be seen to be naming a successor. I suggest the writer of this piece should read the Zanu PF constitution

mdawini mkhosi - 27 June 2017

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