Succession matrix is key to development

By Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo

In every institution or organisation there is what we call succession. The “handiende matrix will never work because every brand has its own time. Leaders must come up clearly on who should succeed them to avoid political anarchy or turmoil in their respective organisation.

Joice Mujuru, Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa
Joice Mujuru, Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa

We would want to give examples of Israelites during their time there was Moses and later on Joshua came in picture and he finished the game. Leaders should believe in passing the baton to others. There must be a clear succession plan in every organisation so that whoever is groomed will not have a problem when carrying out his mandate.

Succession issues they carry or bear negative impact towards our economies particularly in our developing nations if they are not spelt out clearly.

Reasons why leaders should come up with succession plans way before they are incapacitated or in case they step down

          To allow the successor to learn one or two things.

          To avoid turmoil and chaos.

          To preserve economic gains made by the organisation.

          To groom a successor.

          To allow continuity and not take people by surprise.

          To allow democratic process to take its place.

          To preserve the BRAND

Here we want to make an analysis in the developing countries why it’s difficult to have our leaders naming a successor way before they hang their boots. Let’s have a case study for example of Zambia as a nation.

In 2015 when Michael Sata died there was a serious problem that nearly degenerated into a civil war, after the ruling party spent almost 90 days looking for a successor and people were busy fighting for power without being introspective into the implications of the leadership problem.

Guy Scott refused to hand over power to Edgar Lungu whom he claimed Sata didn’t want him to take over power. The Zambian army nearly intervened because there was chaos.

One mistake Michael Sata made was he never came out openly whom he favoured though internal sources believed he favoured Edgar Lungu and this cost the party during the by election to fill in the incumbent. The good part is Zambians are a peaceful nation they agreed to settle for Edgar Lungu and that was that till to date. 

Turning to Zimbabwean situation we have a leader who has been in power for 36 years at the helm of the party with more than 7 deputies. Honestly were on earth would you find this happening and it’s only in Zimbabwe. This risks the country further imploding into serious crisis particularly when party cadres are not sure who will succeed him.

Mugabe should allow cadres to digest and be open in fact the good part is to allow the existing structures to discuss the issue of succession politics. It’s not a crime or treasonous to discuss who will succeed Mugabe rather it’s a blessing when he has the love for the party. There were several good leaders e.g. Simba Makoni, Walter Mzembi, Emerson Mnangagwa etc. to name the few among others who can lead the struggle. It can never and it should never be treasonous to discuss the succession plan in fact its very health. 

Now the supporters and senior officials of the party will never rest until there is a successor. On Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, at least Morgan has done a good thing to name or appoint 2 more vice presidents of the party that is Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa.

We need to give Morgan credit where he deserves and hate him or like him he did a good thing. We need to have a bit of analysis why Morgan made such a good move. Whilst most disgruntled and misguided elements within and outside the party have taken to the social media to attack Morgan in fact he has done a good move.

Do not forget that the ailing Tsvangirai has indicated that his health is not in good state and he needs time to recover so that’s why he appointed the two to lead from the front whilst he is preparing to retire from politics.

Given the context that he appointed Chamisa who is appealing to the youth wing and will not only give hope to the youth but as well clears all the hot spots in the party. 

It is in the interest of every nation to know when a leader will step down. Stepping down as a leader is not the work of the west or imperialists but rather it is a democratic tool to allow leadership renewal.

No matter how good a leader is performing he or she must be clear on the succession road map of the party and nation. In fact Zimbabwe must put a clause or an act of parliament that talks about succession so that there will be smooth transfer of power.

There is life after Tsvangirai, there is life after Mugabe, there is life after Mangoma, there is life after Biti so what’s important is leaders should clearly spelt their succession plan openly. Most Africans have dictatorial tendencies were they do not want to hand over power look at NCA led by Madhuku he had to seek a third term which is wrong. The best zim-asset that zim leaders can give us is to announce their departure and successors. 

Tinashe E Muzamhindo writes in his personal capacity as a development analyst and an academic. He is completing his masters of arts in Development studies at University of Lusaka Zambia. He can be contacted at [email protected]