- Southern Africa
Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF seeks to replace Mugabe and scuttle GPA
Zimbabwean leader President Mugabe has said fresh elections are imminent raising fears of a new campaign of terror and violence. The 85 year old Mugabe was confirmed leader for the next five years of his Zanu PF party at the just ended congress in Harare.
Said Mugabe, "Elections are not too far away. The inclusive government was given a short life. Let’s go out and drive the engine at top gear [...] We must win resoundingly and regain the constituencies we lost".
Though Mugabe was unanimously re-elected as first secretary of the party, for the first time delegates spoke openly of the need to plan towards his succession.
In his own closing address to the congress, Mugabe praised the defence forces for being "dependable". The army has kept him in power for years in spite of his continued rejection by the electorate. "That is the most dependable force we could ever have," he said.
"It shall not be tempered with. The enemy would want to see it disintegrate and any tactics, maneuvers, manipulations to tamper with the force as it is would never be entertained."
However, what was more shocking were the resolutions passed. Observers have indicated that the new resolutions could scuttle the Global Political Agreement after Zanu PF said it would not entertain any further discussion on Mugabe’s controversial appointment of the central bank governor Gideon Gono, Attorney General Johannes Tomana and provincial governors.
"Congress resolved that our inclusive government negotiators cease to entertain any discussion on or negotiation of the issue relating to the appointment of the governor of the Reserve Bank, the Attorney General and the provincial governors as these fall outside the purview of the Global Political Agreement and have their solid statutory origins that protect them," reads part of the Zanu-PF resolutions.
Zanu-PF also resolved that it will not allow the implementation of any issues agreed in talks so far before sanctions are lifted and the so-called pirate radio stations stop broadcasting into Zimbabwe.
"There should be no movement on the concerns of the MDC formations without corresponding and simultaneous redress of Zanu-PF’s concerns such as the illegal western sanctions, western funded pirate radio broadcasts and western interference in Zimbabwean international politics through the funding of parallel government structures," reads part of the resolutions.
"The President and first secretary of Zanu-PF and negotiators should not countenance any introduction or inclusion in the ongoing inter-party dialogue of provisions or agreements which seek to reverse or undermine the gains of the liberations struggle."
Zanu-PF has further asked South Africa President Jacob Zuma to be patient with Zimbabwe’s political crisis as well as understand that the political crisis "has delicate, sensitive fundamental concerns that cannot be resolved overnight".
Zuma was appointed last month by the SADC Troika to preside over Zimbabwe’s crisis talks, taking over from his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. Zuma’s take-over generated both excitement and optimism that he would soon find the solution that had remained elusive under Mbeki.