‘Many in Zanu PF await Mugabe death’

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Many in Zanu PF are waiting for President Robert Mugabe to die and the United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, predicts chaos if and when the ageing leader is no more with many people scrambling to succeed him.

The latest cable released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks adds to other disturbing statement about President Mugabe’s health and the “Mugabe must go mantra” attributed to party stalwarts including Vice-Presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, among others.

However, the statement all but confirms that a Zanu PF open debate on succession will not see the light of day as long as Mugabe is still alive.

Ray said this in a cable filed to Washington in January 2010 after the US ambassador paid a courtesy call on Nigerian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Kunle Adeyanju at the Embassy of Nigeria in Harare where they discussed the Zimbabwean political situation.

“There are many ‘pools’ within Zanu PF waiting for Mugabe to die, and when that happens, there will be an internal scramble to seize power which could spell chaos,” Ray wrote.

The US envoy said there was no confidence in the MDC-T taking over power as the party was divided.

“While Nigeria acknowledges that Mugabe’s Zanu PF has ruled poorly, there is concern that MDC-T is incapable of governing the country by itself. There are also leadership struggles within MDC which, if they are not settled, will further compromise MDC’s ability to develop into an effective governing party.”

Ray said President Mugabe blames Nigeria for the planned expulsion from the Commonwealth and Adeyanju told him that just two weeks before he was to present his credentials, the Nigerian President in a speech said: “Mugabe must go.”

“The Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry had planned to cancel his presentation and withdraw the agreement but Mugabe intervened, and at the ceremony said that Nigeria’s President was ‘misinformed’ about conditions and events in Zimbabwe.”

Zanu PF is deeply divided over the WikiLeaks revelations that have all but soiled relations and ushered in a tense atmosphere that has left President Mugabe exposed.