Succession battle at boiling point.

Author:Ankomah, Baffour
Position:AROUND AFRICA: ZIMBABWE
 
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President Robert Mugabe will be 94 when he stands for yet another term of office in July 2018 and his energy levels are waning. The scramble to succeed him has started in earnest, with a plotline worthy of a bestselling fictional thriller. Analysis by Baffour Ankomah.

The plotline is almost like something from the D. B. Weiss and David Benioff TV drama series, Game of Thrones, which has been showing to wild acclaim around the world since 2011; except that in Zimbabwe, it is real.

Zimbabwe is a complicated country. There is nothing simple about this nation of 13 million people, not least its politics as things have turned out to be in the last few months.

In neighbouring Angola, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, 75, was able to step down quietly this September after 38 years in power. His favoured successor, Joao Lourenco, 63, a former army general and defence minister, received 64.5% of the vote in elections in August and the ruling MPLA party had the necessary parliamentary majority to back him up.

A counterpart scenario in Zimbabwe is proving much, much more difficult to crack. And now all sorts of things are being thrown into the mix: poisoning ana rumours of poisoning; allegations of coup plots; sudden illnesses at Zanu-PF rallies; excessive party in-fighting; a first lady on the rampage; an old president and a social media gone mad.

It is so frenetic that observers are in a whirl about what to make of it all or what this portends for the future of the country. Presidential and parliamentary elections are due by July 2018 but the positioning has begun in earnest and the gloves are

President Robert Mugabe, 93, who has been in power for the last 37 years, is the ruling Zanu-PF's Cresidential candidate for 2018, having been chosen by the party's elective congress in December 2014 to run for the eighth time in his long political career.

But natural wear and tear is not on Mugabe's side. God has blessed him with long life, vitality, and intellect. But every good thing has an end. That is the way of nature. As a result, the president's energy levels have been waning, especially in the last two years.

He will be 94 by the time July 2018 comes round. A new term of five years, assuming he wins again (which is most likely as the main opposition party, MDC, is at its weakest since its founding in 1999), will take Mugabe to the ripe old age of 99 by the time another election comes round in 2023.

Lacoste versus G-40

Based on the human frailties he has exhibited in the last two years, some of his long standing Zanu-PF comrades have been positioning themselves to succeed him. Apparently some of them have been too...

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