Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Five reasons why Mugabe will be gone in 12 months

By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |

President Robert Mugabe will fall by the wayside in the next 12 months due to a combination of factors that include age and failing health, according to a prominent political writer.

Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe, 91, tripped as he came down some podium stairs at the airport
SYMBOLIC: Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe, 91, tripped as he came down some podium stairs at the airport early last year

“As sure as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, Mugabe won’t be president by the end of the next twelve months,” said Ken Yamamoto.

The author and columnist who is believed to possess inside knowledge on Zanu PF developments and writes under the pen name Ken Yamamoto, gave five reasons why Mugabe would cease being president within a year.

He said Mugabe had become “a man of advanced age – very slow in both speech and mobility (and) I would never trust a man of such age with running even a kiosk.”

When he appears in public, Mugabe is always rigid and walks with a limp, often helped by his aides, wife Grace or senior government officials.

He has been filmed sleeping at international and local public events.

Yamamoto claimed a team of doctors had recently been flown into Harare from an Asian country to boost his strength ahead of the Heroes Day commemorations held last week.

He further alleged that Mugabe had drastically reduced his daily working routine to 30 minute stints, returning home to sleep.

But, outside his deteriorating age and health, Mugabe is faced with an economic crisis that will help push him out.

The economy has taken a nosedive in the post-2013 general election period, with international financial houses and investors keeping away.

Currently the economy is saddled with a stinging cash squeeze as government battles monthly to raise money to pay soldiers, the police and the rest of the civil service.

Unemployment is independently estimated at more than 90 percent, water is scarce and citizens have violently demonstrated against the introduction of bond notes as part of the basket of currencies.

Thirdly, Yamamoto said, Mugabe faces a debilitating challenge to his succession as former allies and militias, the war veterans, have just rebelled against him while his base of supporters is dwindling.

“As the economy gets worse and worse, more supporters will peel off Mugabe’s political onion much faster than ever before and his reign crumbles like a deck of cards,” said Yamamoto.

A crisis-weary but youthful generation will push Mugabe out, according to the columnist.

“Mugabe’s biggest political quagmire is demographical. The young generation under forty is in the majority. They are tech-savvy but very idle and jobless – at least the vast majority.

“Because of Mugabe’s rule, they are consumed by despair, have little hope for the future and don’t see a way out for their generation. The only light they see at the end of the tunnel is a train coming to crush them,” he said.

“Many of them have no work experience. They can’t move out of home to branch out on their own. Their only option is to either emigrate from their country of birth or stay on and resist the system.

“Here is Mugabe’s quandary – the young generation cannot be fooled. They don’t care about land or freebies as much as they care for a secure future, jobs and enough space to be entrepreneurial. They realise that their life is wasting away at the mercy of a geriatric,” he added.

However, Mugabe’s continued stay in power is increasingly being challenged by the older generation, particularly the war vets who he can no longer please with handouts.

“On the flip side is the generation of war-veterans Mugabe has largely relied on, consistently using rewards and punishment to keep them in check and entrench power.

“His biggest challenge is that he has given everything there is to give to retain allegiance, and now the bag is empty. Zimbabwe’s war veterans have been given land, cash largesse, monthly payments, and positions in the military, government and his party.

“But land is finite and everything is else has shrunk owing to bad leadership. Now the war veterans have realised that every player has been changed except the coach.

“Their recent communique – issued with support from people in the military – is categorical in making it clear that they no longer have confidence in the captain of the ship.

“This factor is will provide the largest impetus to the demise of Mugabe’s leadership,” added the columnist. Nehanda Radio