Mugabe throws succession race open

President Robert Mugabe could have dealt a fatal blow to Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who are reported to be leading two factions eyeing his post when he finally leaves, following his public announcement on Friday that the race to succeed him is open to anyone.

President Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe

Mujuru, who is Mugabe's deputy in both government and party, and Mnangagwa, also the Zanu (PF) Secretary for Legal Affairs, have for long been reported to be involved in a fierce turf war to take over from Mugabe.

Addressing his Gushungo clansmen in Zvimba, his rural home, Mugabe, who was responding to reports of the two factions, said Zanu (PF) was not owned by individuals, adding that Mujuru and Mnangagwa were not the only ones who could succeed him.

"These (Mujuru and Mnangagwa) are not the only ones who can succeed me. The day I retire, the people can choose any other leader they think is the best candidate," said Mugabe, 90, who has expressed his wish to rule until he turns 100.

He added: "I am saying this because there has been a lot of talk in many provinces around party divisions, with some people said to belong to Mai Mujuru and others to Minister Mnangagwa over succession." He said party supporters belonged to Zanu (PF), rather than individuals or himself.

Mugabe is seen as cozying up to his long-time financial advisor and personal banker, Gideon Gono, the former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor who is set to be given a senatorial post after his retirement in December 2013 after 10 years of service.

There is speculation that Gono could replace Patrick Chinamasa as Finance Minister soon.

Post published in: News

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