By Helen Kadirire
The only feasible way to resolve the current political impasse in Zanu PF is for Mugabe to name who he wants to succeed him, Sapes Trust director Ibbo Mandaza has said.
Mandaza said by naming his successor, Mugabe will avert bloodshed and the chaos consuming the ruling party.
“If he reaches a stage where he no longer can continue because of physical infirmity then yes, he should state his successor. Grace indicated that when he is tired he will do it. I think he is likely to name a successor.
“We are still far from elections and anything can happen. I think the worst kind of scenario which I do not hope for because it can unleash untold and unpredictable outcomes is that the old man dies before elections.
“Death is inevitable but it is better if he dies when he has put something in place. The unthinkable that would happen if he dies is a scuffle for power, anarchy and possible bloodshed.”
He said Zimbabwe’s politics is, however, made up of people who are too dependent on the State and cannot live outside it.
Mandaza said it is that dependence on the State which makes them endorse a soon-to-be 94-year-old man to contest in elections.
“Results of Kenya’s elections show in my opinion that as long as the state in Africa is what it is made up of people for whom the State has become a livelihood, for whom retention of power is the enemy of politics, it is unlikely that we will have the kind of democratic process that is familiar in bourguor democracies. As we have said elsewhere, in Africa we have the bourgeois State model but without a national bourguor.”
“We have a people who are dependent on the State and if they are outside of the State, they wilt and die.
“In the history of Zimbabwe do you remember how many suicide cases there were when a minister has been taken out of government? It has made the practice of the retention of power endemic to African politics.”
The academic also argued that while there has been pedestrian talk of a third force to take over the reins in Zimbabwe; it is very unlikely to succeed considering that Zanu PF has a tight grip on State institutions.
He said the only way the questionable third force can come into control is through elections; which he doubts may happen next year.
Mandaza also highlighted that even if elections do take place in 2018, given a readily prepared template, the opposition may not succeed again.
“The third force is an unlikely way to go but whatever change comes at the moment the ruling party is in control. Who controls the State for the time being is the one who controls what happens next.
“So I do not think that the third force is an entry point at this time unless through elections of which I also do not see taking place. And even then if elections happen given the template that is there, I do not see the opposition making headway,” he said.
Mandaza also allayed fears of vote splitting through Nkosana Moyo’s new outfit saying that the former Finance minister is not a threat, as the only notable competitors are Zanu PF and the MDC.
He however, warned that the coalition between the MDC and other parties should consider looking at regional and international models for reference.
The political analyst said in coming up with a formidable coalition the parties may have to consider using a new name than those that exist.
“The coalition needs modification. If you look at the coalitions in Kenya, it is political parties and individuals coming together under a new banner and I saw Joice Mujuru complaining that the coalition should not carry the name of the MDC, which I think is a valid criticism and point if you are going to follow coalition models of other countries. The various parties subsume their identity around a banner and it is something to look at.”
“On the other hand people say the MDC is a brand and if it is a coalition around Morgan Tsvangirai then there is nothing wrong in using the MDC as the name of the coalition.
“However, all that indicates how problematic the coalition is. Coalitions normally emerge after elections,” Mandaza said. Daily News