Friday, December 05, 2003

Zimbabwe: Mugabe don't need CHOGM ... he's got his own convention!

For news related to Zim & the Commonwealth meeting, visit the folks over at Daily Summit ... they got that issue covered!

Now for Mugabe's own party ...

Mugabe's ZANU-PF party today began its three-day party congress. (Note: other news sources say "two-day".) The theme ... "Total Land Use For Economic Turnaround And Prosperity".
Despite the harsh economic environment prevailing in the country, nearly [Zim] $1,3 billion was raised for the conference.
According to party officials, a leadership review is definitely not on the agenda.
"The issue of who will succeed President Mugabe, and how, cannot be a matter for discussion at the conference. That will only arise at [next year's] congress, where leaders, from the president of the party on downwards, will be elected.

"If there are people who wish succession to dominate the agenda, we are yet to find out how they will do it," said Zanu-PF information and publicity chief Nathan Shamuyarira.
During the summer, there was a rumour that Mugabe would step down during this congress (see this post). Dumisani Muleya has more on the rumour in today's Independent (Zim).
As reported in the Zimbabwe Independent in July, the plan, which Mbeki was understood to have sold to American President George Bush when he visited South Africa in July, was that President Robert Mugabe would relinquish his party's leadership during the conference.

... Although Mbeki has denied promising Bush that Mugabe was on his way out, he has insisted there will be "leadership renewal" in Harare before mid next year.

... If Mugabe clings to power until December next year, his succession crisis, which has deeply divided the party along factional lines, could end up becoming a catalyst for disintegration.
Here is something ... Financial Gazette (Zim) says that Mugabe might surprise everybody by announcing his retirement plans during two closed-door sessions ... the reporter says he has it from "impeccable party sources".