Not yet time to groom a successor: Mugabe

President Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwe and Zanu (PF) for over 32 years, marked his 88th birthday this week by declaring that it is not yet time for him to groom a successor.

Dewa Mavhinga.
Dewa Mavhinga.

He made this and several other startling revelations in an interview with Nomsa Nkala of the state-owned but Zanu (PF) aligned Sunday Mail.

Key highlights of the interview include Mugabe’s view that those calling for critical electoral reforms ahead of elections are cowards who should know that ‘elections can happen anytime.’ His answer to the question whether Zimbabweans will go to elections this year was – definitely, yes. He insisted that money for elections just has to be found without elaborating where.

Zanu (PF) members should be seriously concerned that their leader believes there is no-one else in the party fit to take it forward, or to win elections when pitted against Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC.

Mugabe also hinted that Zanu (PF) would reconsider SA president Jacob Zuma’s role as SADC appointed Facilitator to the Zimbabwe negotiations and that he believed ‘this woman’ Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu had misunderstood the role of facilitator.

His personal insistence on having elections in the absence of reforms is something that must be rejected by all Zimbabweans and by SADC. Elections in themselves are no solution to the political challenges confronting Zimbabwe.

Those within Zanu (PF) opposed to Mugabe’s insistence on forcing premature elections and on him running as president again should now join hands with pro-democracy forces and demand change.

If Zanu (PF) is to survive, even as an opposition party in the future, then it must embrace change and must immediately set in motion a leadership renewal and succession plan.

Mugabe has put his cards on the table; he has displayed a determination to take Zimbabwe back to 2008.

This is a challenge to all Zimbabweans to be united and resolute in their total rejection of sham, violent elections that serve no meaningful purpose other than to settle cheap political scores within Zanu (PF).

In what maybe an indication of how out of touch with the people he is, Mugabe said in his birthday interview that he wants to be remembered as a lover of his people. It may be too late for that, if he insists on choiceless elections then he will be remembered more as a lover of political power – a man with an insatiable hunger for personal glory regardless of the cost to the nation and to the people for whom he professes so much love. – Dewa Mavhinga, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Coordinator

Post published in: Politics

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