The death of opposition heavyweight Morgan Tsvangirai robbed Zimbabwe of the strongest challenger to Robert Mugabe for almost 20 years – and no successor will be able to emulate him fully.
Mugabe has now gone, but Tsvangirai’s party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is bitterly divided.
The furious machinations among his rival successors were downright indecent.
After much bad blood, Nelson Chamisa was appointed the MDC’s leader, but the party’s faultlines are such that he will not bind them in time for national elections this year.
More to the point, none of the rivals actually put forward a policy platform. We have no idea what kind of Zimbabwe any of them, Chamisa included, wishes to build.
The right to inherit also marked the vicious power struggles in ZANU-PF before Mugabe finally fell.
Neither Grace Mugabe nor Emmerson Mnangagwa talked about policy, planning and, above all, how the country would attract investment and liquidity to its bankrupt economy.
Since assuming the presidency, Mnangagwa has made all the right moves and all the right noises, to persuade the West he is economically competent and politically savvy.
But so far, no significant inflow of funds is forthcoming.
Not even the Chinese seem impressed.
Instead, everyone is waiting for the elections Mnangagwa has promised will be held before July.
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