Zanu cannot win – analysts

'The man has condemned his party to defeat'
President Robert Mugabe's obstinacy in insisting that he will stand as the
ruling party candidate in next March's presidential elections despite his
sliding popularity ratings is likely to condemn the ruling party to a
crushing def

eat, political analysts warned this week.
Analysts said overtures by the veteran leader to seek another term of office
arose from his intense addiction to power, deep personal insecurity and a
myth that the centre of the ruling party would not hold were the party to
have a new leader.
The economy is in its seventh straight year of recession and a crippling
foreign currency crisis has spawned a chronic fuel shortage, placing an
unbearable strain on commerce and industry. Economists say Mugabe has shown
little regard to resolving the problems, which he simplistically blames on
sanctions imposed by former colonial power Britain over alleged human rights
“It’s a decision the ruling party will probably blame for the disintegration
of their party for a long time to come,” said Sheunesu Majada, a political
analyst. “Mugabe would not win even the remotest fair election.”
Majada said Mugabe had put Zanu (PF) in a much more difficult position and
that it was going to be very difficult for the party to win the election
because Mugabe, as a person and leader, now has a serious image problem.
“I don’t see anything that Zanu (PF) can do with him to avoid defeat,” he
said. “There was a small chance the party could improve its fortunes by
sponsoring another candidate. I think you can safely say the man has
condemned his party to defeat. For many Zimbabweans, Mugabe is the problem,
and if he says he wants to hang on then there is no hope for Zanu.”
Despite the intense domestic and international criticism of his economic
policies, including the price slash that has devastated industry and
commerce and his proposed grab of mines and foreign-owned companies, Mugabe
insists he remains popular.
He recently told the press: “All this noise about Mugabe and so on is fear
of the old man. So the old man must see the party win, and we will take our
decision thereafter.”
“The problem in Zanu (PF) is that those Mugabe may want to succeed him are
seen as a liability as well, and you get people in the party who say: ‘What
is the difference, we may as well continue with Mugabe’. That is the
loophole Mugabe is exploiting,” said Brian Raftopoulos, a political
scientist with the SA-based Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. “It is
generally agreed that Mugabe has always kept his options open, and part of
that strategy has included sidelining serious potential rivals.”

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