Thursday, August 07, 2003

Mugabe might leave in December ... the jockeying for power has already begun

Mugabe is expected to announce he's stepping down at the Zanu-PF convention in December. But in the meantime, the struggle for power has already begun ... along "tribal" lines.

Mahofa, a long-serving official in the party’s women’s league, said an informal Zanu-PF committee, made up of some of its most powerful members, was operating clandestinely, vetting possible candidates for Mugabe’s seat if it becomes vacant in December, as expected.

.... Mahofa said some senior Zanu-PF members had approached her. “I was shocked to realise that some people were already canvassing for support for certain individuals," said Mahofa, adding that some of those involved had “dangerous political ambitions" that threatened to divide the party along tribal lines.

While keeping mum in public, Zanu-PF officials privately admit that discussions about Mugabe’s successor has already been marked by tribal and regional battles.

Party officials say Karangas and Ndebeles — who form what has been termed “the southern axis" — feel it is time one of their own came into power.

They say it would not be “feasible" for another Zezuru to succeed Mugabe. The Zanu-PF leader is a Zezuru.

The article has a good summary of who the leading candidates are (mostly a bunch of old guys).