Ruling party conference ignores crisis

ZANU-PF ducked the succession issue at its conference but the drift is damaging the confidence of businesses and people alike

The Mashonaland West provincial capital, Chinoyi, got all dressed up for the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front conference on 13-14 December but the deliberations produced no breakthroughs – either on the worsening economic problems or the stalemate over the successor to President Robert Mugabe. There were no new appointments to the party’s all-important Praesidium and the Politburo, leaving the factions to continue fighting it out. The succession is growing in importance but the prospects of the leading contenders are frozen, with a resolution unlikely until the next conference, in December 2014. Few expect Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa to produce any substantial new policies for the 2014 budget, which he is due to read in Parliament on 19 December.

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