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Mugabe’s health and Zanu PF internal squabbles could derail 2018 elections, warns Ibbo Mandaza

06/09/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
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THERE is still a likelihood that Zimbabwe may not hold elections next year and that could happen if President Robert Mugabe dies or if he gets incapacitated by his failing health or if Zanu PF internal wars boil over, analyst Ibbo Mandaza has said.

Mandaza also warmed the western world not to be “excited” by the poll rhetoric.

The notable publisher said this as he was opening a two day media stakeholders’ conference hosted by the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe in Harare Wednesday.

“There are possibilities that elections may not take place. Do you think that there would be elections when the old man fell dead tomorrow? Can you see elections taking place? What if he is declared two weeks before elections incapacitated and unable even to move in a wheel chair, will there be elections?,” he said.

“What happens then? Have you considered that?” said the former senior civil servant.

“I am not saying that our circumstances are those of speculation, but its real and it can happen anytime.”

Mandaza said besides Mugabe’s ill health and Zanu PF factional fights the conditions for a free and fair election were far from being achieved.

“How is the voter registration going and are we monitoring it, what about this new thing called BVR and Rita Makarau (ZEC Chairperson), we heard her saying that what happened in Kenya will not happen here, and how does she know that?” said Mandaza.

Kenya’s Supreme Court shocked many last week when it nullified that country’s elections of August 8 which had seen Uhuru Kenyatha declared the winner.

Mandaza said the same could happen in Zimbabwe if elections were to be held under the current environment.

His comments come as President Mugabe has kept the nation guessing about his failing health for more than two decades now. The 93 year old leader has done so by not divulging his ailment which regularly takes him to the Far East for medical attention.

Mugabe, who has ruled the country since independence in 1980 and led Zanu PF since 1975, has been endorsed by his political outfit as the Presidential candidate in next year’s elections.

His wife, Grace, has declared that the aged leader would even rule from a wheel-chair and from the grave.

There is also serious internal fighting within Zanu PF with two factions namely the Generation 40 which is fronted by the Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, and the other named Team Lacoste led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa at each other’s throats in the struggle to succeed Mugabe.


G-40 reportedly wants Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband in both Zanu PF and the government, while the Lacoste camp is fighting for Mnangagwa to be the next head of state.



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