HARARE – ZIMBABWEAN Â have to wait till midweek to know Â President Robert Mugabeâ€™s successor, as Â he closed Â his partyâ€™s congress without choosing his successor saying Saturday said he did not want to “rush to choose people.”
“We will set up the politburo next week. So I don’t want to rush it. So be patient. Next week, by Wednesday or Thursday, we will make an announcement,” Mugabe said.
â€œI could not rush to choose people, to look which… people we could put into the politburo,” Mugabe told around 12,000 or so delegates gathered for the congress, which was widely expected to see the vice-president Joice Mujuru being demoted.
The former army general’s widow has been accused of corruption and plotting to unseat Mugabe by the president and his wife, backed by state media.
Meanwhile Reuters reports that most analysts say her absence has cleared the way for justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, a
hardline Mugabe loyalist known as ‘The Crocodile’, to position himself to take over when Mugabe finally succumbs to mortality
However, Mnangagwa refused to be drawn on his prospects.
“Until Thursday,” he told Reuters at the end of Mugabe’s closing congress address. “It is unfinished work.”
“He wants to convey the message that all now resides with him,” said Eldred Masunungure, a political science professor at the
University of Zimbabwe. “But it’s basically a bad way of running a country or a governing party.”
The only other sworn-in senior member of Zanu-PF is his wife.
The inconclusive outcome to congress has only added to the political uncertainty in a country grappling with the after-effects of
an economic meltdown that critics blame on decades of mismanagement by Mugabe.
But his failure to announce the vice presidents left some feeling cheated.
“Mugabe giving closing remarks at ZANU-PF congress, perhaps he forgot to appoint his deputies?” prominent analyst @Dewamavhinga tweeted.
“Where are the fireworks we were promised by the media and analysts?” tweeted @zenzele, an editor at Radio Dialogue in Bulawayo. â€“ Sapa/Reuters