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Vol 41 No 6

Published 17th March 2000


Who's next?

The Zanu-PF hierarchy is encouraging President Mugabe to take a dignified retirement. But they can't agree who should take over

Few serious politicians doubt that Zimbabwe is heading for its roughest elections since Independence and the end of the liberation war in 1980. The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is more unpopular than it's ever been, the economy is in free-fall and facing a massive currency devaluation in the middle of the year. There's no end in sight to the fuel crisis widely blamed on corruption, mismanagement and the military intervention in Congo-Kinshasa. After the vote against the government in the constitutional referendum (AC Vol 41 No 4), the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) smells victory; not just in the towns which have been getting more disaffected with ZANU-PF over the past decade but also in the countryside, where about 70 per cent of voters live. Rather than change policy now, the circle around President Robert Mugabe believes it can use the state security apparatus to undercut the rural opposition and a militant squad of well-paid war veterans to intimidate opposition supporters in the towns.

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