ZANU-PF high echelons have finally accepted that Mugabe is now part of their history rather than their present as the man is apparently struggling to cope with the day-to-day demands of both ruling the country and leading ZANU-PF as a party. This reality-check seems to have been kicked off by the recent rumours of Mugabe’s Easter holiday illness. Senior ZANU-PF sources are worried that Mugabe, who was publicly seen struggling to deliver his 18 April speech, cannot deliver promises that he is making in his campaign for the next elections. They point out that froth was coming out of his mouth during the speech and he continuously had to use tissue paper to wipe away saliva. They all agree he needs rest but no one has the guts to tell him to quit. This is evidenced by the
said two successors, Emerson Mnangagwa and Joyce Mujuru, who both recently denied any interest in replacing the ailing Mugabe. However, what is visible among ZANU-PF big shots is the urgency to loot the country’s mineral resources. Sources are saying ZANU-PF is set to benefit whether Mugabe remains or dies in power.
Where does the loot go?
Nobody seems to know where the benefits from the country’s resources are being taken. Evidence suggests the Ministry of Finance is not receiving enough mineral proceeds, suggesting only a few are benefiting. This is the case regardless of the Finance Minister’s recent calls to the West to uplift targeted sanctions which affect, amongst others, Mbada Diamonds Resources which is apparently used by senior ZANU-PF and Military personnel for personal benefit. Online newspapers recently reported that either Mugabe or his former pilot, Andy Mhlanga, who is also the current chairman of Mbada Resources, are developing a multimillion property in Durban’s most upmarket area (South Africa). Estimated between R200 to R300 million, the property apparently boasts of a house, two man-made dams, an underground bunker, bullet-proof windows and a helipad. If these reports are true, this property will be one of the many properties that Zimbabweans suspect is being paid for by money from corrupt dealings. Corruption is one of the biggest threats to Zimbabwean society and it is a major motivation for people who want a change of politics in the country. Also, the property in Durban validates rumours that the South African government is allowing ZANU-PF big shots to hide Zimbabwe’s loot in their country. For the past decade there have been calls to the RSA government to stop ZANU-PF members from using their country as a haven to hide Zimbabwe’s stolen riches. However, South Africa has not imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwean politicians and thus for them, whether or not corruption is suspected to have played a part in monies that are brought into the country by Zimbabweans, they are just dealing with an “investor”. In a nutshell, Zimbabweans need to find out more information about activities of corrupt government officials and individuals. A future new government should then create an asset forfeiture unit which will ensure money obtained through corruption returns to the country to help rebuild our economy.
The MDCs combined have a majority of MPs in Parliament but somehow ZANU-PF still seems to be unstoppable. The looting of resources in Marange continues unchallenged and recently the PM declared himself satisfied with operations in that area even though we all know there is no transparency. Violence remains a major threat to communities and up to now several key electoral reforms have not been met as ZANU-PF continues to resist attempts to level the political playing field. While we recognise and appreciate the progress made in some areas by the GNU, it remains worrying that if the key reforms are not met the country risks sliding back to the pre-2008 elections environment.
ZANU-PF in a fix
We should be heartened, however, by the widespread panic and confusion with in ZANU-PF as they struggle with how to handle the issue of succession after Mugabe. Recent indications suggest a bitter fight between rivals. This situation is supposedly worsened by the military’s inability to command the majority of the force to participate in the ZANU-PF succession wars. Sources say the military will find it difficult to flex its muscles in Zimbabwe’s politics should Mugabe go because there are less that 100 senior officers who subscribe to ZANU-PF’s way of doing things. The rest of the army is apparently more interested in their personal struggles to make ends meet due to low salaries and certainly not interested in being used as party machinery. So what will happen if Mugabe goes? This question should not be left to ZANU-PF alone and it is high time everyone has a say!