Tuesday, 19 July 2016


A South African think-tank says the rising anger against President Robert Mugabe could fortuitously benefit his longest-serving aide and deputy — Emmerson Mnangagwa, in the current Zanu PF succession race.

In its latest instalment, NKC African Economics said Mnangagwa’s chances to become the next president on an interim basis if President Robert Mugabe leaves office before the 2018 general election have been brightened.

“Mugabe’s political capital is practically spent — a consequence in many ways of the manner in which he allowed his family and cronies to walk over governance and the law in Zimbabwe for too long,” it said.

“While we have serious reservations about all the top figures in Zanu PF — in fact, the probable next head of State by interim, Mnangagwa, might be the worst of the lot — those who disagree with them, at home and abroad, have more leverage to negotiate than before. We think things are about to get better.

“The process has accelerated in recent years, mainly as a consequence of moves by his ambitious second wife Grace to ensure that she remains close to power when he passes away. These moves have failed, and now senior figures in his government seem to be going against his wishes while negotiating with western partners.

“It does not seem as though the status quo is tenable, and something important feels set to change, perhaps even with a dramatic fleeing out of the country on Grace Mugabe’s part.”
Mnangagwa has been steadfast in his loyalty for Mugabe and denies plotting against the man on whose side he says he has been for more than 50 years.

Two weeks ago, his rivals in Zanu PF claimed during an emergency politburo meeting that he could have been behind the recent protests and a general strike because he had not been targeted in messages circulating on social media platforms.

Mnangagwa who has publicly pledged his loyalty to Mugabe is said to be angling to succeed the nonagenarian although his bid is heavily opposed by a faction of young Turks known by the moniker Generation 40 (G40).

Mugabe is facing the biggest challenge of his long political career as angry Zimbabweans — fed up with his catastrophic policies and shortages of cash — have embarked on rolling protests in a bid to force him out office.

Recently, the country was hit by deadly riots prompted by a ban on consumer goods from South Africa and many police roadblocks on the country’s roads.

There is anxiety within the civil service where, for the second consecutive time, there are no clues as to when they will be paid.

Mugabe’s administration blames the protests on western governments which it says are seeking to topple Africa’s oldest president. Daily news


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