That is what the British magazine, The Economist thinks. “The Mugabe family loves a good punch-up. The old man, Robert, Zimbabwe’s president, has always been a brawler, though a sly and eloquent one,” it says in its 1 November edition.
And the reason, to maintain his grip on power: “His specialism is to set up ambitious underlings in the ruling ZANU-PF party to fight so that he can eventually chide them for factionalism and push aside the likely winner, perpetually eliminating potential rivals,” The Economist says.
“His wife, Grace, is a chip off the old block. Aged 49, she recently started a punch-up unlike any the party has seen, forgoing the subtle ambiguities with which Bob, as he is universally known, has often wrapped his verbal blows. Her barbs have been aimed at Joice Mujuru, the 59-year-old vice-president, who was hand-picked years ago by the old man and until last month seemed to be the front-runner in the treacherous race to succeed him.”
The magazine says: “Regardless of who will be elevated or demoted, he (Mugabe) has shown himself to be the ringmaster. Everything must change so that all can remain the same—until the president’s clock runs out and he can no longer defuse the bombs he plants.”
Mugabe intervened in the squabble on Wednesday and Thursday and everything now seems quiet. But for how long?