News24

Mugabe succession debate intensifies

2012-04-12 14:01

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned home from Singapore on Thursday after a trip that fuelled rumours the 88-year-old was seriously ill, intensifying concerns about who would succeed him.

Mugabe has made frequent visits to Singapore in recent years, amid reports that the veteran leader is suffering from prostate cancer that has already spread through his body.

He appeared healthy as he walked off his charter plane in Harare accompanied by his wife Grace, joking with Vice President Joice Mujuru and military chiefs who welcomed him home.

"The man is fit as a fiddle," Information Minister Webster Shamu told reporters. "Why do we to wish somebody bad, why do we spread rumours, why do we lie about our head of state?"

Mugabe and other top officials have repeatedly denied the cancer reports, which gained widespread currency following a leaked 2008 US diplomatic cable in which Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono confirmed the health story to the then US ambassador.

The latest health scare was sparked by a single report on a news website run by Zimbabwean exiles which said the leader of the Zanu-PF party was fighting for his life in a Singapore hospital.

Officially, the government says he travelled to the city-state to arrange post-graduate studies for his daughter Bona.

The speed that the story spread around the globe underscored the deep-seated concerns about what would happen in the event of the sudden death of the man who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

With two vice presidents and a vague succession law, political analyst Derek Matyszak said the failure by Mugabe to appoint a successor was a recipe for chaos.

Rocky unit government

"The ambiguity of the law to be followed upon Mugabe's sudden death... has the potential to turn the merely messy into the thoroughly chaotic as each contender endeavours to apply an interpretation of the law which is most advantageous to him or her," Matyszak said.

"The Zanu-PF constitution also contains no clear provisions as to what happens on the demise of its president," he wrote in the private Daily News

He said "fissures within Zanu-PF might develop into rifts", as the factions in the party claim the right to put forward their own candidate.

Under the constitution, the vice president who most recently served as acting president would become a caretaker for 90 days, said Lovemore Madhuku, a legal expert from the University of Zimbabwe.

"After the 90 days, parliament sits as the electoral college to appoint a new president who then completes the term," he said.

But the current parliament is dominated by the Movement for Democratic Change of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's rival in a rocky unity government, making it unclear if a Zanu-PF candidate could win.

The lack of a clear successor in the constitution has sparked jockeying within Zanu-PF between two camps, one led by Mujuru and the other by hardline Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Zimbabwe Mail reported that Mugabe had reached a secret deal to hand power to Mnangagwa after his death, but senior Zanu-PF official Didymus Mutasa dismissed the story as "baseless".

"We have a hierarchy that we follow as a party and Mai [Joice] Mujuru is better placed, as well as [Vice President] John Nkomo or even [party chairperson] Simon Khaya Moyo and those are the people who can take over today," Mutasa said.

"But why are we talking about this when the president is still there? The president is still there and we as Africans are well cultured such that we don't talk about replacing someone when he is alive."

Comments
  • Irene - 2012-04-12 14:12

    Oh come on Bob. Die already.

      Thami - 2012-04-12 15:03

      Thousands of your kind tried during the war of liberation.They had better ammunition than your mere wishes. He survived then. Unless you are God then my simple advice is save your racism and hatred. The man is beyond you and your fantasies. Long live our President

      James - 2012-04-12 15:52

      dont worry irene, Every dog has his day.I think bob has a long weekend coming to him for all the trouble he has caused .Not only to his people but also to innocent bystanders.

      J-Man - 2012-04-12 16:01

      @ Thami - how you can call this man "my president" after all he has done to you and your once beautiful country, is beyond me.

      Irene - 2012-04-12 18:31

      Ignore Thami, he's a brainwashed idiot and needs sympathy.

  • Felix - 2012-04-12 14:46

    anc should stop supporting this dictatorship. It is a clear indication of what their intentions are for this country.

      jwarhelikhulumzuvukile.mpongo - 2012-04-12 15:17

      Felix,what is the ANC got to do with Zimbabwe?Let Zimbabweans lead Zimbabwe and ANC lead South Afrika.

      Felix - 2012-04-12 16:06

      jwjansdnafjhdfh, that would be great if the anc would actually do something for the people instead of raising taxes and making promises they will never fulfill. You do realize this whole 'anti colonial/white' propaganda is to secure votes to the point of doing what they want with the tax money?

  • Manhattan - 2012-04-12 15:08

    ....as he walked off his charter plane... Who walked off that plane, Bob or his body double? This guy's supposed to be 88 years old, but I don't recall a photo of him ever looking more than 50. Maybe he died a while ago before the country started its downfall. Conspiracy theories await.

  • jwarhelikhulumzuvukile.mpongo - 2012-04-12 15:14

    Whoever succeeds comrade Mugabe should not be polite at all,we are witnessing African leaders selling out our land leaving Afrikan children suffering from hunger and deseases.

      Blessing - 2012-04-12 17:55

      Jwarheikhul...., the land was returned to locals in Zimbabwe, why are they starving then? l thinkyou could be saying "we are witnessing African leaders REPOSESSING OUR LAND leaving African children in more missery and swiming in more substatiated poverty.

  • Dizymany - 2012-04-12 15:25

    Zvavanga vagara vakacherera munhu gomba zvino richaiswa ani zvavadzoka kudai?isu pachininja hatishuwiri munhu rufu.

      Honest - 2012-04-12 16:04

      anovenga chidhara ngaafe.

      Masasi - 2012-04-12 16:08

      Richava gomba remarara

  • Sam - 2012-04-12 15:29

    Long Live Roberto Long Live away with scavangers who are hungry for you bone away

  • inxsive - 2012-04-12 15:50

    Dont debate with this Thami. As her facebook profile was only created 2 hours ago. Racist troll.

  • jp.schoombee - 2012-04-12 15:51

    So if he goes, who gets his money and assets? What do I have to do to get some? I also want to be a dictator

  • Masasi - 2012-04-12 15:55

    For those who wished our President's death, SHAME ON YOU. Long live THE SON OF SOIL.

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-04-12 16:34

      he single handedly DESTROYED Zimbabwe - SHAME ON HIM AND ALL HIS IDIOT FOLLOWERS !!!

      Masasi - 2012-04-12 16:57

      @Charles read your politics

      Thami - 2012-04-12 17:26

      Agree with you Masasi. There must be a lot of embarrassed whites out there.Did you see all the comments when the story that he was dying broke? But anyway whatever happens ZIMBABWE WILL NEVER BE A COLONY AGAIN.Its in very safe hands now and it will always be in safe hands. So that everybody knows

      Irene - 2012-04-12 18:33

      Masasi ~ The worms will probably die after eating his poisonous body. I will be holding a party of note when the old silverback dies. The entire world will celebrate - those with brains that is.

      Irene - 2012-04-12 19:18

      Thami ~ Then why are people tripping over themselves to invest and live in that god forsaken dust pit? Why is half the ZimBOBwe population living in SA?

  • J-Man - 2012-04-12 16:00

    Get a dog to succeed him...it will do a better job. Or a stick.

  • Honest - 2012-04-12 16:32

    if u wish Mugabe 2 die, beware u gonna die first.

      Irene - 2012-04-12 18:35

      More superstitious rubbish that Africa (LOL!) is based on. Be careful Honest, there's a tokolosh coming for you. Get some bricks! Quick!

  • Mthandazo05 - 2012-04-12 16:48

    I have a comment, I think this man is alive up to now for a reason. He has to clean up his mess and unite Zimbabwe otherwise if he juss dies without doing that we are all finished. Mugabe is a liability but also he is at this dire time a necessitity. I realy dont like this man coz he has turned his own people into beggers and a laughing stock all over the world, but he should first clean his mess and then die otherwise...........................

  • Nyakuvengwa - 2012-04-12 22:19

    Gushungo vadzoka kumusha, musingadi muchida,those who wished for his death he is alive and kicking, he was injected new young blood in singapore -viva PRESIDENT MUGABE! PAMBERI NEZANU PF! PAMBERI NEKUZVITONGA! PAMBERI NEKUTORA MINDA YEDU! PASI NEVATENGESI ! VIVA INDEPENDENCE YAZIMBABWE!!

  • Nyakuvengwa - 2012-04-12 22:19

    Gushungo vadzoka kumusha, musingadi muchida,those who wished for his death he is alive and kicking, he was injected new young blood in singapore -viva PRESIDENT MUGABE! PAMBERI NEZANU PF! PAMBERI NEKUZVITONGA! PAMBERI NEKUTORA MINDA YEDU! PASI NEVATENGESI ! VIVA INDEPENDENCE YAZIMBABWE!!

  • Nyakuvengwa - 2012-04-12 22:19

    Gushungo vadzoka kumusha, musingadi muchida,those who wished for his death he is alive and kicking, he was injected new young blood in singapore -viva PRESIDENT MUGABE! PAMBERI NEZANU PF! PAMBERI NEKUZVITONGA! PAMBERI NEKUTORA MINDA YEDU! PASI NEVATENGESI ! VIVA INDEPENDENCE YAZIMBABWE!!

  • Kagiso - 2012-04-12 22:39

    there is no point in discussing any successions as robber mugarbage's life has been prolonged even further by the devil :(

  • Ngotshiwa - 2012-05-05 01:23

    PLEASE CAN YOU GUYS GIVE YOUNG PEOPLE CHANCE TO HAVE A SAY, IN THEIR ON GOOD COUNTRY WE ARE TIED OF OLD POLTICS, REALY

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