Mugabe took over the party Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) from its founder Ndabaningi Sithole and worked his way to the top and has pretty much always had his hands firmly gripped on the reigns of power until now when the party insiders are beginning to murmur and whisper about the need for a successor to challenge Morgan Tsvangirayi’ influence in Zimbabwe. The former Vice President of Zimbabwe who hailed from the Masvingo Province where the Rozvi Empire is said to have ruled centuries ago often ranted “Zanu PF ichatonga kusvika madhongi amera nyanga” translated verbatim to “Zanu PF shall rule til donkeys grow horns”.
The idea of perpetual leadership of the nation is not new to Zimbabwe former colonial ruler of Zimbabwe the then Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia as it was known then Ian Douglas Smith in similar fashion uttered those famous words
“I don’t believe in black majority rule ever in Rhodesia, not in a thousand years”
The only person who believes that Mugabe is immortal is himself, this is reflected in his unwillingness to put forth a succession plan or to appoint a successor. On his 88th birthday he even mocked the Christian God Jesus Christ by stating that he had resurrected more times than Jesus Christ.
In times past anyone who raised the succession issue was literally hit in the head with an iron object and often suffered brutal blows for daring to ask that question of “Dear Leader” Current Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is said to have suffered this humiliation after the infamous Tsholotsho meeting that called for a succession plan. In 2009 and in a power sharing deal with the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirayi a man who Mugabe once refused to talk with presents a dilemma for the Zanu PF faithful. Mugabe doesn’t care about post Mugabe Zimbabwe,his family will go to Malaysia where he built a castle for them to live in so they never have to set foot in Zimbabwe again. Grace the wife is very young and is likely to remarry again and lead a new life in the post Mugabe era however the others will have to prepare for life in Zimbabwe and bear the consequences of their Mugabe era actions.
Mugabe used the word “greed” as the cause of growing factions within his own party. A little introspection would reveal that the adjective better describes himself. Mugabe’s greed for power will leave his party in the dust grieving and wondering who could have done a better job ruling Zimbabwe.
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Politics Across Africa August 2017