The Oasis Reporters
July 27, 2017
An element of sit-tight African leaders is being fearful of exiting the throne and refusing to entertain the games of princes for it reminds them of mortality.
Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Grace Mugabe has confronted her husband, President Robert Mugabe, to name his chosen successor to end deepening divisions in the ruling party.
To Grace his wife, naming a successor for ageing Robert could stem the crisis over the future leadership of Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU-PF.
Africa’s oldest leader, Mugabe, 93, has ruled the former British colony since independence in on April 18, 1980 but has insisted that ZANU-PF, and not him, will choose his eventual successor when the time comes.
However, at a meeting of ZANU-PF’s women’s wing in Harare, Grace Mugabe countered the veteran leader, who was at the meeting as well , saying he should name a successor.
“The First Lady and Zanu PF Secretary for Women’s Affairs have challenged the President to name his successor saying this has been the trend in other countries.
“The First Lady said there is nothing wrong with Mugabe naming his successor, saying the move will enable all members to rally behind one candidate,” local news reported.
Fighting over leadership of a post-Mugabe ZANU-PF has intensified in the last three years, with two distinct camps emerging, one supporting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the other rooting for Grace Mugabe.
Meanwhile, Mugabe is ZANU-PF’s presidential candidate for the 2018 election, due after July 21, 2018, his last under the constitution and will be 99 years if he wins and completes the five-year term.
Mr. Mugabe, Africa’s best read president was a guerrilla warfare leader who fought against the white led minority leadership of Ian Smith, a British settler in the former colony then called Rhodesia. As Independence was coming to African nations, he promptly declared Independence unilaterally, while instituting a white minority government supported by then apartheid regime in South Africa.
Alongside Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe fought a long guerrilla war of liberation forcing genuine Independence in the southern African nation.
Mugabe won the first election in Zimbabwe in 1980 supervised by the Commonwealth Nations. An agricultural based economy, badly managed land reforms soon led to a floundering economy and Robert Mugabe has since ensured that he keeps power to himself, frustrating every effort at change.
At 93, he seems to be running out of options and if he wins the next election in 2018, age may force him to step aside.
In African sit-tightism, this analysis may remain the stuff of hope with unpredictable results.