“General Chiwenga to be Mnangagwa's vice president before Christmas!” screamed the headlines!
This is the thing about Zimbabwe; we are in a serious political and economic mess because we have not taken the business of electing competent leaders with the seriousness the matter demands. President Mnangagwa assisted by Vice President Chiwenga, my point exactly because these two will not help us get out of the mess but drag us even deeper into the abyss. Their respective political elevation will mark their victory over the Grace Mugabe led G40 faction in the on-going succession dog fight in Zanu PF, but this is a mere skirmish in comparison with the fight to revive the national economy.
My bet is that President Mnangagwa and VP Chiwenga will NOT hold on to their respective post after the 2018 general elections; the two have no clue of the seriousness of the current economic meltdown much less what will be demanded of the new regime to effect meaningful economic recovery.
Whether President Mugabe is able to hang-on as president to serve his full five-year term ending in July 2018 (assuming he does not kick the bucket) or is forced by death or whatever to handover to someone else within his own party to finish the five years is largely an internal party matter. The on-going dog-eat-dog fighting to decide who succeed Mugabe is clearly not for the faint hearted.
The Zanu PF factional war antagonists have completely ignored the country’s worsening economic meltdown. What they have failed to appreciate is that unemployment level of 90%, 76% of the people now living in abject poverty, etc. is socially and politically unsustainable millions forced. The increasing social arrest sweeping the nation is people demanding an end to the economic hardships brought on by the economic meltdown.
President Robert Mugabe has shown that he does not have the political will, intellect and vision to implement the tough economic reforms demanded to end the cancers of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and lawlessness that is killing the Zimbabwe economy. Indeed the country would not be in this mess if he has the will, etc.
Whilst President Mnangagwa has shown some initiative showing he will be his own man, he will probably scrap Mugabe’s stupid and unworkable Indigenisation Act. Still he will have to do a lot more than that to get to the root of the mismanagement and corruption, he will have to completely dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship from the top right down to the village level and the only convincing way to do this is by allowing the implementation of all the democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 Global Political Agreement followed by free, fair and credible elections.
I do not see President Mnangagwa and his VP Chiwenga agreeing to free, fair and credible elections in 2018; their Zanu PF fault setting would be to rig the next elections just as President Mugabe has done in the past. If President Mnangagwa was naïve to concede the implementation of democratic reforms, I cannot see him winning free and fair elections.
The problem for Zanu PF, it does not matter whether President Mugabe or VP Mnangagwa is the party’s candidate for the 2018 elections, it that rigging these elections will do nothing to revive the national economy. The people of Zimbabwe are fed up with Zanu PF’s empty promises and worsening economic situation by the time of the next elections, if the regime lasts that long, the people’s position will have hardened to the same level as in 2008 when they risked life and limp to get change.