Could Mugabe step down, even if he wanted to?


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Despite reports about his ailing health- which he has dismissed- President Robert might not be in a position to retire even if he wanted to because there is too much at stake, according to a blogger for a United States magazine, Foreign Policy.

The blogger said though a plethora of things including “his age, health problems, ZANU-PF infighting, the succession crisis, collapse of his election plans, growing impatience by SADC leaders, events in North and West Africa and the hardening of international opinion”, was against his 31-year rule, “stepping down would seem to be a pretty irrational move for Mugabe at this point. The list of living autocratic leaders who have stepped down voluntarily is a pretty short one.”

“Mugabe doesn’t have a natural successor, and it’s far from clear that ZANU-PF can survive without him. He could hardly feel safe retiring in Zimbabwe with his political enemies — Morgan

Tsvangirai’s MDC becoming more politically influential — and a leader who still considers himself father of his nation isn’t going to retire into quiet exile in Hong Kong unless he’s absolutely forced to. So there’s little reason for Mugabe to give up his monopoly on violence before he dies,” the blogger writes.

But The Insider argued as far back as July 2000 that Mugabe was keen to retire but was being held to ransom by his lieutenants, not the other way round. The Insider also understands that he wanted to step down after the 2008 but he was told to stay put.

(21 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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