Mugabe to lead Zanu PF for Life?

July 22, 2009 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

By SARAH NCUBE
ZIMBABWE – HARARE – Some sections within Zanu PF are pushing for Robert Mugabe to be the party’s life president. The Zimbabwe Telegraph reveals.

This move will put him at par with Iranian’s Ayatollah Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Zanu-PF Midlands Province Coordinating Committee made this shock resolution at the weekend.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zanu-PF Secretary for Legal Affairs said as a province they agreed that they were satisfied and committed to the leadership of Mugabe who is also the Party’s First Secretary.

Mnangagwa has for long been harboring presidential ambitions. In May the Zanu PF politburo, the party’s highest decision-making organ set up a committee to look into the emotive issue of choosing new leaders and that was seen as the clearest sign yet that the party could finally open debate on the election of a successor for the 85-year-old leader.

But the weekend statements seem to have closed the succession debate. The issue of selecting Mugabe’s successor has threatened to split Zimbabwe’s former ruling party amid behind-the-scenes jostling by party heavyweights for the top post.

The infighting worsened following Zanu PF’s dismal performance in last year’s elections where it lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since independence to the Movement for Democratic Change.

Mugabe also lost the first round of the presidential elections to his then rival Morgan Tsvangirai, a setback that forced him into a coalition government. The 85-year-old has said he would not step down until he is convinced that his departure will not lead to the collapse of Zanu PF.

The issue of succession has been talked of in Zanu PF before without much progress being made on the ground. A political commentator Arnold Murowanani said:

“Zanu PF faces the real possibility of complete demise if it mishandles its succession issue. “At the center of this succession is the need for a credible and visionary leadership to rise within the party. A leadership that can lead with brains and vision and not violence and patronage as we have seen in the past.

“There is nothing wrong with Zanu PF advancing its nationalist ideology, as long as this is done persuasively and in the interest the country.”

Mugabe has been at the helm of Zanu PF since 1977

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