A British publication, The New Statesman, yesterday said the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front has extended and consolidated its power and eliminated rival sources of power that there is little space for an opposition party taking over the country.
“Even with the death of President Mugabe, ZANU-PF will live on,” it said.
The paper, which said Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa had pushed for the unity of ZANU-PF and Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African People’s Union, said the unity of the two parties had become a “blueprint for how Mugabe deals with his opponents”.
“First, Mugabe terrorised ZAPU’s social base and then he absorbed the leadership. In roughly the same way, Mugabe would later co-opt Morgan Tsvangirai and destroy the Movement for Democratic Change,” it said.
The New Statesman said though the battle for succession with the party was not clear, Mnangagwa seemed to have an upper hand over the First Lady Grace Mugabe because of his ties with the party, the army and the para-state.
It says former Vice-President Joice Mujuru was also quite popular and as a former insider she could draw on her connections as she reinvents herself as the new opposition.
But adds, “the Mugabe government expanded and consolidated its own base of support, while it eliminated rival sources of power. It’s no coincidence that the white farmers backed the MDC, but they lost the battle. So there may be little space right now for an opposition party to take hold of the country. Even with the death of President Mugabe, ZANU-PF will live on”.