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Vol 51 No 25

Published 17th December 2010


Zimbabwe

The wiles of a crocodile, the memory of an elephant

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front will put on a show of unity and loyalty to President Mugabe at this week’s congress in Mutare. Despite the protestations, the party is divided over who should succeed eventually Mugabe as leader. Most activists support Vice-President Mujuru but the securocrats back Defence Minister Mnangagwa. Mugabe, however, knows that he will be the party’s presidential candidate yet again in the 2011 elections.

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front has assembled in Mutare in full battle array for its annual party congress on 15-18 December. General mobilisations, once started, take on a momentum of their own. President Robert Mugabe has called for mid-year general elections which, his friends hope, will mask the jockeying over the presidential succession. In this he may please the securocrats but risks alienating his most important diplomatic shield, the Southern African Development Community, which insists on a credible roadmap towards any election. The other partners in government, the two wings of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), follow the SADC line. So do most of civil society, business and a surprising number of ZANU-PF parliamentary backbenchers.

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