Zimbabwe

Fears as Zanu-PF pushes for elections

2012-01-10 12:32

Special Report

Ebola: Zimbabwe to 'strictly' monitor visitors
Ebola: Zimbabwe to 'strictly' monitor visitors

The Zimbabwe has reportedly started setting up health ports to strictly monitor visitors coming into the country, following concerns that the deadly Ebola virus might spread beyond West Africa.

Harare - A push by veteran President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party for elections before the end of the year has raised fears among Zimbabweans of a spike in political violence that could derail a two-year economic recovery.

Tensions are already high over the drafting of a new constitution that major political parties must agree on before any parliamentary and presidential polls.

Mugabe's advancing years - he turns 88 in February - are causing additional concerns, not least among Zanu-PF followers who fear that question marks over his ability to do the job after 32 years in power may cost it in any election.

That said, Mugabe's main political rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, is facing lurid allegations about his private life that have damaged his reputation as leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Inter-party violence

Finance Minister Tendai Biti is budgeting for economic growth of 9.4% this year from 9.3% in 2011, but a fierce contest between Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and the MDC could torpedo that.

Analysts say Mugabe is pressing for polls a year ahead of schedule because of his failing health.

He and Tsvangirai, who were forced into a unity government after violent and disputed polls in 2008, convened a peace summit in November to defuse escalating tensions after clashes between their supporters.

Tsvangirai, who is 18 years younger than Mugabe, believes he will win any free and fair poll, after Zanu-PF intimidation forced him to drop out of a presidential runoff against Mugabe in June 2008.

The acid test for the anti-violence campaign is likely to come closer to the election date, when Zanu-PF tends to mobilise its forces in the form of independence war veterans and youth brigades known as "green bombers".

What to Watch:

- A rise in inter-party violence as the drive for elections picks up steam.

- Public response to calls for joint peace rallies planned by Zanu-PF and the MDC.

- Investors shelving or slowing down on their plans due to jitters over election violence or fear of instability.

Mugabe succession

Zanu-PF's annual conference in December endorsed Mugabe as its candidate in the next presidential poll, but analysts say he will face a tough battle convincing voters to extend his rule.

Although Zanu-PF officials rally behind Mugabe in public, in private many want him to retire and pass the baton to a younger heir due to fears his age may cost the party victory.

The pressure has intensified since reports, based on a June 2008 US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, that Mugabe is suffering from prostate cancer.

The death of retired general Solomon Mujuru in a fire in August has also changed the party dynamics. Reports say Mujuru, husband of Vice President Joice Mujuru, was pressing Mugabe to step down and that his Zanu-PF faction had courted the MDC.

What to watch:


- Mugabe trying to heal party rifts or anoint a successor.

- How Mujuru's camp regroups, and how Zanu-PF rivals position themselves for power after Mugabe.

Tsvangirai

Local media reports in the past year said Tsvangirai has made two women pregnant and tried to pay them off. He has so far not denied the charges.

The allegations have provided fodder for his enemies and led some to question his leadership credentials.

What to watch:


- MDC rifts caused by the controversies

Mining and local ownership

Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere says mining firms have mostly met deadlines for submitting plans on how to transfer a 51 percent stake in their operations to locals.

Some foreign mines with operations in Zimbabwe include Impala Platinum, Aquarius and Rio Tinto , while British banks Barclays and Standard Chartered Bank operate locally.

The heavily criticised law is aimed mainly at mining firms and banks operating in a resource-rich state that has become an economic basket case.

Analysts say it is more likely the cash-strapped government wants to wring concessions from miners such as more cash or mineral rights. This explains why the government is negotiating with individual companies, the analysts say.

In addition, the government unveiled a $4bn budget for 2012, which included an increase in gold and platinum royalties for gold, and banked on $600m in diamond revenues.

What to watch:

- Details of deals struck between government and miners.

- What the government will do to non-complying companies.

Constitution


Mugabe and Tsvangirai's parties are quarrelling over drafting of a new constitution, with Zanu-PF accusing the MDC of trying to smuggle in a law recognising homosexuals and giving unfettered voting rights to Zimbabweans living abroad.

The final charter is likely to be a compromise between Zanu-PF and MDC, who both lack the two-thirds majority in parliament needed to pass the new supreme law on their own.

A referendum on a draft not backed by either party would likely trigger violence.

Many Zimbabweans want the charter to strengthen the role of parliament, curtail presidential powers and guarantee civil, political and media liberties.

What to watch:

- Zanu-PF reaction to prolonged delays in charter's crafting

- Reuters

Read more on:    mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  tendai biti  |  joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  saviour kasukuwere  |  solomon mujuru  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your ideas may feel like a sea of thoughts swimming around every which way, and now you need to find something to contain them in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.