Mugabe’s departure will trigger uncertainty, relief: Zvobgo

Former Zanu (PF) legal supremo Eddison Zvobgo’s son Eddison Jnr, believes the departure of President Robert Mugabe could spell the end of the party, but at the same time it would bring an overwhelming sense of national relief to Zimbabweans.

According to whistle blowing website Wikileaks, Zvobgo told the US Embassy in September 2005 that the ruling party was essentially biding its time until its octogenarian leader passed from the stage. He said Zanu (PF)’s dysfunctional internal environment could lead to a destabilising power struggle but asserted “there might be enough sense of mutual interest for key players to get behind a new leader.”

“They’re not stupid,” he said.

According to an embassy cable, Zvobgo told the Ambassador over lunch at the Residence, that Zanu (PF) was essentially a conservative, nationalist party that had resigned itself to an unpopular President.

Zvobgo claimed that “99.9 percent” of the party recognized the “madness” of Mugabe’s policies, which had been an unmitigated failure essentially since independence, said the cable. He complimented vice President Joice Mujuru, to whom he acknowledged he was aligned, as a “common sense” managerial type who could muster sufficient consensus.

“Whether she will win over competing aspirants such as Mnangagwa depends on the correlation of forces at the time and her ability to give competitors sufficient stake in a new power structure. The overwhelming sense of relief at Mugabe’s passing might also play to her advantage,” Zvobgo said.

He urged the international community to be ready when Mugabe left the scene and not to miss the opportunity to get behind somebody who could put the country on the road to national recovery.

Neither the country nor the international community could “afford to dither when our long national nightmare ends”, he said.

The US Embassy described the young politician as “an astute player in the ruling party’s younger generation and son of Robert Mugabe’s late principal intra-party rival”.

“Policies that brought the stock market to a standstill were only the latest example of gross incompetence stemming from the top, Mugabe carries the “baggage” of his legacy within the party; those who assumed charge upon his departure could be expected to jettison that legacy and quickly re-orient the party more toward the West.

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