President Mugabe has said neither Joice Mujuru nor Emmerson Mnangagwa are automatic heirs to the presidency. He says it will be up to the people to choose a new leader, when he retires... eventually. The succession war, whether real or imagined, has given Mugabe the perfect excuse to maintain a tick’s hold on power.

It is unfathomable that in a country where 94% of the electorate can read and write, Mugabe has notions of indispensability. South Africa has so far managed to replace the iconic Nelson Mandela three times – Mbeki, Motlante, Zuma – in the last 15 years. It incredible to that among Zimbabwe’s leaders there is not one capable of taking over from Mugabe, who for 34 years has sung that old song, ‘Handiende.’ It is even more incredible that among his own party, not one person has sufficient spinal strength to tell him that he has long passed his sell-by date. ZBC technicians have done very well, editing news clips in order to show very little of Mugabe struggling to rise from a chair, battling to ascend stairs and sleeping in important meetings.

His steadfast refusal to relinquish power defies all logic as, even in business; the chairman of a large corporation would struggle to remain in office past 70. To use such an analogy is almost inappropriate as CEOs deal with inanimate products and Mugabe presides over something much more vital – that is the lives of 13Million.

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