Zimbabwe’s opposition, which boycotted the three by-elections to be held this month to fill seats left vacant after three Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front legislators were thrown out of the party, is biding its time hoping that age will take its toll on the 91-year-old ZANU-PF leader Robert Mugabe.
London-based Africa Confidential reported that “the parties opposing the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front have limited resources they are unwilling to waste on this month's three by-elections”.
“They have now decided to keep their powder dry for the 2018 general election campaign. They now believe that the longer they wait, the more age will take its toll on the leader, and whether it does or not, the bitter succession battle will seriously damage the ruling party,” the fortnightly newsletter said.
The main opposition parties have vowed not to participate in any elections until the government implements electoral reforms to level the playing field.
Africa Confidential claimed that factionalism was going to take its toll on ZANU-PF as First Lady Grace Mugabe is positioning herself to take over from her husband.
The First Lady has repeatedly denied that she is interested in the presidency and so have the country’s two Vice-Presidents- Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
No one wants to be seen to be challenging Mugabe as this is what cost former Vice-President Joice Mujuru her job.
Zimbabwe is to hold three by-elections on 19 September in Mbire, Marondera Central and Mwenezi East left vacant after the expulsion of David Butau, Ray Kaukonde and Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.