'Mugabe not in a hurry to leave office'
26 August 2013, 15:31
Cape Town – Strong indications are that the recently inaugurated
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is not in a hurry to leave office despite
his advanced age and ill-health, a report said on Sunday.
The Standard said although there had been suggestions Mugabe
could retire soon after the elections to pave way for a younger successor,
analysts said the 89-year-old, now the oldest living African head of state,
would be around longer than expected.
"I see him serving his full term," political analyst Dumisani Nkomo said. "He may die in office or later give leadership to someone whom
he trusts. The fact that he has young children will force him to stay in office
a little bit longer."
Mugabe's youngest child Chatunga is still a teenager, while
Robert (Junior) and Bona are both in their early 20s.
Mugabe also needs to solve the succession crisis in his party
Zanu-PF, fulfil election promises and reconstruct his battered image.
A mammoth of task for Mugabe
Already, there is fierce jostling for Mugabe's post, a
development that is threatening to tear the revolutionary party apart.
Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are said to
be positioning themselves for the post in the event that Mugabe retires or dies
The two however have denied harbouring presidential
Having been elected deputy chairperson of SADC at the regional bloc's summit in Malawi recently, analysts feel it strongly that the veteran
leader would want to assume chairmanship next year and consolidate his legacy.
Nkomo said Mugabe wanted to be remembered as a president who
never lost an election, led Zimbabwe for over three decades and chaired SADC,
among other achievements.
A political analyst, who requested anonymity, however said
it would be a mammoth of task for Mugabe to erase the sad memories of Gukurahundi
(an attempted genocide of the Ndebele by Mugabe's 5th Brigade which killed at
least 20 000 people), land invasions and the 2008 elections, which have
become his major stumbling block to achieving the position of "an elder
statesman in Africa" in the mould of former South African President Nelson