President Robert Mugabe (90) on Friday gave the slightest hint that neither his deputy Joice Mujuru nor long-time confidant Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed him when he calls it quits or even in the unlikely event of a disaster. Mugabe told his Gushungo clan elders that Zanu PF members would choose his successor.
But what he did not tell his clan members is that there is a hierarchy in the ruling party with a clear structure such that Mujuru or anyone in the Presidency, including national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and administration secretary Didymus Mutasa, can still assume the mettle. In the absence of a new Vice-President, there is no doubt that Mujuru should seamlessly assume leadership.
In the story by our sister paper Standard, one wondered why Mugabe would throw tantrums against the so-called factions when he has in the past dismissed them as a figment of those against his party? Why is he trying to block his most favoured juniors? Is Mugabe trying to groom his wife First Lady Grace for the leadership of the party once he decides to leave?
Zimbabweans are confused by Mugabe’s many contradictions. Should Mugabe be taken seriously on this one? Will Zanu PF allow him to bulldoze given that First Lady Grace is not within party structures? If it is true that Mugabe is trying to groom his wife as a successor, to whose benefit is it? What will be his legacy then? Why is he fearful of any other party cadre to succeed him?
Because his actions have a bearing on the wellbeing of Zimbabwe, Mugabe should be discouraged to dictate.
It is about time Mugabe thinks Zimbabwe, drinks Zimbabwe and walks Zimbabwe to salvage his tattered image. He should uphold both Zanu PF and Zimbabwe’s constitutions for the benefit of over 13 million citizens. The public is tired of politicking at their expense, (and) wants a stable environment that will allow them to go about their business in peace.
What kind of a leader that would want to leave a country in chaos on leaving office? Mugabe should refrain from stretching the people’s patience and adopt a smooth succession plan. The majority of the people do not worry about who will succeed Mugabe, but are worried about the future of their children hence whatever happens in Zanu PF now has far-reaching effects to all and sundry.
Mugabe must deal with some of the big succession planning mistakes that he has made as they are showing up in lots of other leadership situations in Zanu PF. He’s being overly optimistic about the challenges Zanu PF is facing and thinks that external trends don’t apply to his situation.
He must be reminded that a combination of impressive performance, good rating and the appointment of a successor, in a seamless manner, will earn Zimbabwe a pride of place by investors.
While most Zimbabweans will not care about who will take over after Mugabe, he should look in the rearview mirror instead of the windshield when making big decisions. It appears Mugabe lacks clear accountability and ownership for big decisions.
He should ask himself how he would want to be remembered. Those who have lived in the long, long shadow of the President, of our generation, and of all that he accomplished — How and what do we remember?
Is it his staccato authority — This is critical because a people’s memory sets the measure of its political freedom.