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Analysts look beyond the Mugabe era

At the helm of Zimbabwe for the past three decades, President Robert Mugabe’s advanced age has over the past years stirred a lot of debate on whether he could go on as leader, but he has so far confounded critics with his continued stranglehold on power.

The Zanu PF succession issue has haunted the country, with politicians and analysts speculating on who would succeed the octogenarian leader, but they have been left with more questions than answers.

Mugabe recently revealed that he was the adhesive holding the fractious Zanu PF together, saying his party needed him now more than ever.
This all but cast gloom on a post- Mugabe era, with some think-tanks forecasting that the future without the veteran leader may be bleak and not as bright as some might have hoped for.

With some high-ranking security sector officials already pronouncing that they will not salute anyone without liberation war credentials, a pall atmosphere has also been cast on a future without Mugabe as leader.

A political analyst, Jack Zaba says there might be “tremors” but was not convinced that the country would descend into chaos.

“The most likely victim of Zanu PF failure in leadership renewal will be Zanu PF itself, not the nation of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Of course there might be significant tremors to the nation’s political fabric, but I am still not convinced that the nation would descend into total chaos.”
Zaba said the power brokers in Zanu PF had resigned themselves to having Mugabe dying in power and like vultures fight out what would be left of the party.

He said an option for the party was to close ranks and fight the common enemy, that is parties seeking to wrest power from it, or it will crumble with the departure of Mugabe.

Zaba said statements by top military officials were anachronistic, as the democratisation process across the world had seen the army playing a much lesser role in politics.

“Their efforts might only go as far as propping Mugabe’s current incumbency, and never beyond,” he declared.

“The military might indeed be tempted to shield the next person, who might be non-Zanu PF, from taking over power.

“But it also important to note that these securocrats are not so daft as to easily forget what happened in Ivory Coast, in recent months.”

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