Mugabe exit row hots up


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will not retire before 2023 despite the heightened jostling for his post in Zanu PF, his nephew has claimed as the debate over the 91-year-old leader takes yet another twist.


Former Science and Technology deputy minister Patrick Zhuwao said his uncle would only step down after completing two consecutive five-year terms provided for under the new Constitution.

Zhuwao, writing in the State-controlled Sunday Mail yesterday, said debate on who should succeed Mugabe must be shelved because the long-time ruler “has not even completed two years of his first five-year term”.

He lashed out at so-called “successionists” in Zanu PF, in what could confirm a fresh battle to find a post-Mugabe leader for the fractured party.

Mugabe has been in power since independence in 1980.

By 2023, Mugabe — who is widely suspected to be battling ill health and other complications associated with old age — will be 99.

Zhuwawo said talk of Mugabe succession was “divisive, counter-revolutionary, regressive and contrary to Zimbabwe’s developmental and transformational aspirations”.

“The succession narratives are normally based on the comments of unnamed Zanu PF ‘sources’, with others based around the actions of some party members,” he said.

“It is Zanu PF members who feed these succession narratives.

“Zimbabwe’s Constitution gives President Mugabe two terms of five years each.

“This means he can only be succeeded after 2023. Any discussion of succession before that ndeye vatengesi (it’s sellouts’ stuff).

“The people of Zimbabwe elected RG Mugabe President of Zimbabwe with an overwhelming majority of 62%.

“He has not even completed two years of his first five-year term. He is due for re-election in 2018 for his second term.”

Zhuwao said the ruling party’s 6th National People’s Congress held last December elected Mugabe party president and first secretary from 2014 to 2019.

“There will be no other ordinary session of congress until 2019, but there will be national people’s conferences annually from 2015 to 2018,” he said.
“The 2017 National People’s Congress will be held prior to the 2018 presidential elections.

“Section 33 (3) of Zanu PF’s constitution states that one of the powers and functions of the National People’s Conference is to declare the president of the party elected at congress as the State presidential candidate of the party.

“This means President Mugabe will be Zanu PF’s candidate in 2018.”

Zhuwao’s assertion could add confusion in Zanu PF’s explosive succession matrix, which has been blamed for fuelling the current internal strife in the party.

The contested succession issue has seen several party heavyweights — including former Vice-President Joice Mujuru — labelled “rebels” and “Gamatox” elements.

Mujuru and tens of her supporters were expelled from both the party and government on allegations of plotting to topple Mugabe.

Zanu PF has remained unstable even after the departure of the so-called “Gamatox” elements with fresh succession fights threatening to further split the party.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu yesterday described Zanu PF’s insistence to have Mugabe as its candidate in 2018 as madness.

“At the very advanced age of 91, Robert Mugabe is yesterday’s man,” Gutu said.

“He is no longer fit for purpose. He is clearly in failing health as is evidenced by his regular trips to the Far East to seek medical attention.

“In 2018, Mugabe will be 94 years old and it will be the height of insanity for a 94-year-old nonagenarian to run the very demanding office of State President.

“The good thing is that Zanu PF is now in terminal decline and by 2018, there will be virtually no Zanu PF to talk about.

“Trust me, freedom is beckoning for the majority of Zimbabweans. Just watch this space.”

Political analyst Charles Mangongera said it was in the best interest of Zimbabwe to let Mugabe rest.

“The human body is made in such a way that some of its vital organs stop functioning at some stage,” he said.

“It is a fact of the science of the human body that when you reach a certain age you should retire and President Mugabe is way past that stage.

“It is not that we hate Mugabe so much, but he has said it publicly that he is tired.

“He comes late for important meetings and that in itself is a sign that he should rest.”

Mangongera said Zhuwao’s statements were meant to safeguard the Mugabe family’s security.

“There is a sense that the Presidency protects their interests. There is a sense that the President is some kind of firewall, but he ought to rest,” he said.

“It is an embarrassment that the country drags a 91-year-old out of bed every day to attend to the business of the day. It is in our best national interest that he should rest.”

Academic Ibbo Mandaza said Zhuwao’s assertions were only true in theory.

“In theory he (Zhuwao) is correct, but in practice that is another matter,” Mandaza said.


  1. Mugabe will be the President of Zimbabwe until 2023. I got sick to my stomach thinking that at the rate of the economic decline there won’t be any Zimbabwe. In fact things will be so bad and overwhelming with debt and most citizens could end up being slaves of well wishers all over the world. So God will bless Mugabe with old age past 99 years. Good luck Mr President but some of us kutadza kurarama nekuparadzirwa nyika. By the way wh determines how a person stay down here on mother earth. I thought God does but in Zimbabwe we lost site and think Mugabe determines how log he will live. Pasi chigare vamwe vaiva negona. Saka sabuku akachera nhai uye akaviga gona rake somewhere. Tikariwana toputsa togowona kuti 99 yacho ichasvikwa sei.

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  3. Chimwe nechimwe chinenguva yacho, all this shit is gonna end within a blink of an eye. Achaenda chete Gabloss Mugarbage musingade muchida, mbavha majaira kununa muchisveta vana veZimbabwe thru corruption,nepotism, electoral theft, oppression and self aggrandisement tricks.

  4. zhuwao ‘s wish is that his uncle would rule forever.obviously for personal interest.but what he should know is that only his uncle’s ghost can stand gor presidency in 2018 not the man himself.

  5. As Tsvangirai says, it’s no longer worthwhile to talk about Mugabe these days, the past is the past

  6. I do not hate or love Mugabe to the extent that I see in some people who post here. The man has done countable good things for this country. However, I think he should deal with the succession debate once and for all. When Jesus started His ministry of earth, He recruited successionists (I hope you get the point). One could not make it through the training though (Judas) but the Greta Master prepared for a functional kingdom without Him. Why is succession such a sacred topic in ZANU PF that it has cost some people their lives, farms, dignity and many other things. This is where my President gets it wrong. He could have safely sorted the succession issue and ruled till 2023 as a fading advisor-cum-mentor in the political background. Now as Zimbabweans we are feeling guilty of having to send our Kulu all over the world to work for us while we whine and complain. It’s so unAfrican, even by whatever name you call it, to drag an elderly person out of their bed early in the morning and ask them to go through a menu of national chores. This is wrong, whichever way it came – barrel of the gun or tip of the pen!!!

  7. its fun, most commentators, opposition partisans and those so called analyst seems to be so vocal about the retirement of GRM but what baffles me is that they are against the rise of Ngwena (who is the obvious heir to the throne, like it or not). so what do they like GRM to do

  8. Vakomana mirai timboshandisa mapurazi. By 2023 mombe dzangu dzinenge dzawanda ndapota. Muna 2000 ndaifunga kuti kutora munda was foolish. Muna 2005 ndaitya kuti vaMugabe vacharuza munda ukaenda (mombe 12). Muna 2008 zvanga zvatsvedza (Mombe 21). Muna 2013, no problem (mombe 33). 2018 (mombe 50 something). 2023 mombe 100 plus. Ende futi murungu watakatorera anenge asisiko zvachose.

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