Mugabe skirts raging succession battle

2014-10-28 22:19
Zimbabwe's vice president Joice Mujuru (AFP)

Zimbabwe's vice president Joice Mujuru (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe opened parliament on Tuesday, steering clear of a succession struggle raging in his Zanu-PF party following his wife's sensational attempt to force his deputy out of office.

As the 90-year-old addressed the new parliament, dozens of Zanu-PF members sang his praises outside the building, but also taunted each other over factional allegiances in the party that has run Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

Mugabe, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, said he would invest in infrastructure, offer free fertiliser and seed to farmers and revise tax and labour laws to improve an investment climate clouded by his nationalist policies.

He made no direct reference to the succession battle in his party, which went into overdrive this month when his wife, Grace, attacked Vice-President Joice Mujuru and accused her of plotting to oust Mugabe at a party congress in December.

Mujuru, Mugabe's deputy both in the party and government for the last 10 years, has been a frontrunner to succeed Mugabe but faces a stiff challenge from Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, an enduring politician known as "The Crocodile".

During more than three decades in power in the southern African country, analysts say Mugabe has neutralised challengers by playing off Zanu-PF factions, and may be doing the same with his wife's sudden emergence into front-line politics.

Mujuru, a battle-hardened veteran of the 1970s liberation war with a nom de guerre that means 'Spill Blood', won Mugabe's support for the vice-president post in 2004 but now appears to be in a precarious position ahead of this year's congress.

Throughout the ceremony, Grace exchanged no words with Mujuru, who sat next to Mnangagwa, smiling and sharing jokes.

No response

She has made no formal response to Grace's accusations.

The political infighting comes against a backdrop of economic strife, with impoverished Zimbabwe starved of foreign investment and donor funding.

Ambitious election promises made by Mugabe a year ago to create millions of jobs by 2018 and promote the needs of blacks has backfired as a policy to force foreign firms to sell majority stakes to locals has hammered investment and output.

In his 25-minute speech, the veteran leader threatened action against blacks who derailed the empowerment drive - known locally as indigenisation - by acting as fronts for foreigners.

"It is depressing that some of our people have turned themselves into mere fronts for foreign investors, thus defeating the fundamental objective," Mugabe said.

"Decisive action shall indeed be taken to address these negative developments."

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  grace mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  joice mujuru  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.