US think-tank warns Mugabe over succession battles in his Zanu-PF party

Harare – A US-based think tank has warned that Zimbabwe risks plunging into violence even before the crunch 2018 presidential elections, as the ruling Zanu-PF party succession battles intensify, a report says.

According to Daily News, the United States Centre for Preventive Action (CPA) in its recommendation for US policy towards Zimbabwe said that “the major area of concern was President Robert Mugabe’s refusal to plan for a transition.”

Mugabe, 93, has already been endorsed by Zanu-PF as its presidential candidate in the upcoming elections.

The CPA said that the country’s opposition groupings were still fragmented despite forming an umbrella body around electoral reforms and recently signing a number of memorandums to field a single candidate during the 2018 polls.

Ructions in the revolutionary party

The CPA told the US council on foreign relations that regional countries were unlikely going to assist the country if violence erupted.

Two distinct camps have emerged in Zimbabwe’s revolutionary party in recent years, as factions seek to outwit each other in the race to succeed the nonagenarian.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is allegedly leading a faction that is angling to succeed Mugabe calling itself “Team Lacoste”, while another grouping made up of young Turks, commonly known as Generation 40 and backing First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her ageing husband, wants to torpedo Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.

Although both Mnangagwa and the First Lady have publicly denied harbouring presidential ambitions, the ructions in the revolutionary party have now become synonymous in Zanu-PF politics.

A cabinet minister Tshinga Dube recently said that Mugabe should appoint a successor.

“There is nothing wrong with talking about the succession. Succession is not a crime to talk about. This happens in every country… he [Mugabe] must groom the next leaders so that whatever happens to him, or when he retires there is somebody we know,” Dube was quoted as saying.

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