Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Presidential succession still wide open

Contradicting assumptions that he has already chosen his heir apparent, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe said in a televised interview that his ruling ZANU-PF party should decide who will take his place if and when he steps down in 2008.

Political analysts said the speech was significant because it signaled that Mr. Mugabe is preparing the ruling party and the country for his exit after 26 years in power....

He warned party leaders about secret compacts – a clear reference to a meeting held in the western town of Tsholotsho in late 2004 to organize opposition to the selection of Mujuru as vice president, and led to the downfall of several prominent members of the ruling party, including then-information minister Jonathan Moyo.

“Sure, we will always rely on the leadership that is elected at congress, and not from clandestine meetings – they will never win, never,” Mr. Mugabe declared...

(He also blasted the west and the IMF for being devils...)

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