Mujuru is next: Gumbo

Despite the existence of two factions in Zanu (PF), party spokesman Rugare Gumbo is adamant that President Robert Mugabe’s succession is not up for debate.

Mujuru
Mujuru

“There is no succession crisis in the party,” Gumbo told The Zimbabwean. “There is no doubt in Zanu (PF) about the issue of succession. The party’s hierarchy is clear. We have the President, the Vice President, the National Chairman, the Secretary for Administration and that is the hierarchy that is followed by the party. Those below the hierarchy wishing to become President are just wasting their time.”

The two main factions in Zanu (PF) are headed by Vice President Joice Mujuru and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. In terms of the party’s constitution, Mujuru occupies the second highest position while Mnangagwa is ranked number 11. Gumbo said any talk of succession was inconsequential as the party’s hierarchy “leaves no doubt as to who will take over after Mugabe”.

That reference was an indirect indication that Mujuru, as the party’s vice president, could land the post without a challenge upon Mugabe’s departure from office.

In November last year, Mutasa told The Zimbabwean that Mujuru was set to replace Mugabe by virtue of the fact that she is his deputy.

Political analyst, Alexander Rusero, said that although Zanu (PF)’s hierarchy could help in resolving the succession issue in the party, it was premature to talk about the matter. Rusero said by contesting in another election at an advanced age of 89, Mugabe had demonstrated that he was unlikely to retire soon.

“You cannot talk about the succession of someone who has recently been elected. You cannot expect Mugabe to step down anytime soon. To me, it is a premature discussion and as long as that hierarchy is there, there will not be any succession issue to talk about,” said Rusero.

Another political analyst, Shakespeare Hamauswa, said that Zanu (PF) lacked a formula in terms of succession hence Mugabe’s continued stay in power when he should be handing over to one of his trusted party members.

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