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Vol 45 No 25

Published 17th December 2004


Zimbabwe

A heartbeat away

By suppressing dissent in his party, the President puts at risk its ethnic balance

The struggle for the succession to President Robert Mugabe gets sharper every day. His latest purge of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front puts his loyalists into the top jobs. Less obviously, it upsets the delicate ethnic balance by which Mugabe, from the smallish Zezuru group, has for more than 20 years seen off all challengers. He has put his ally Joyce Mujuru (aka 'Teurai Ropa' - Spill Blood) into what looks like the key position of first Vice-President, ready to take over if anything sudden happens to Mugabe.

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