Mugabe failed to secure a formal resolution to extend his term for another two years at the annual Zanu-PF conference in December and I predict will finally see his iron-grip on his ruling Zanu-PF loosened, opening up a power-vacuum in that country. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change will be too divided to benefit. Instead, the solution will come from inside Zanu-PF itself. Mugabe and his ruling group within Zanu-PF's first choice, Joyce Mujuru, the deputy president, is likely to falter. Her challenger, rural Housing Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, supported by many hardliners, is also unlikely to bridge the heal the divisions in the party caused by Mugabe's bloody rule.
Former Zimbabwean finance minister Simba Makoni is likely to make a comeback as a leading contender to takeover from Mugabe. However, it is going to be difficult for Zanu-PF to prevent a split in the party following the departure of Mugabe.