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grand exit plan gets underway
Brian Chitemba/Owen Gagare, The Independent (Zimbabwe)
August 23, 2013
Mugabe, who was sworn in
yesterday in Harare for another five-year term after his controversial
re-election in what was initially billed to be a historic occasion,
has a plan to manage his victory to ensure a grand exit from the
political stage when the time to go comes, it has emerged.
say Mugabe’s grand plan, stretching to the period before the
elections, entailed winning the polls at all costs, co-opting Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and other officials from the MDC parties
to form a new unity government which would bring Zimbabweans together
and present a national façade unity to ensure his legitimacy
and help him maintain peace and stability.
plan was to win the elections, form a new inclusive government on
his own terms and work to ensure he leaves behind a unified, cohesive,
stable and thriving Zimbabwe when his time to go comes,” a
will help him rescue his legacy and make a grand exit when during
or at the end of his term.”
invited to Mugabe’s inauguration yesterday but he boycotted.
The MDC-T leader also boycotted Heroes Day and Defence Forces, while
he put a fierce resistance to Mugabe’s victory by 61,09% to
his 33,94% which he rejected as “null and void” before
taking him to the Constitutional Court where he lost.
spokesperson George Charamba confirmed Mugabe had extended an invitation
to Tsvangirai to attend the inauguration, but the former premier
indicated he would be away in South Africa.
said Tsvangirai had sent signals via an African ambassador that
he would want to work with Mugabe, although the MDC-T leader said
it was the other way round – the president was bidding to
rope him in.
including Tsvangirai’s public rejection of overtures for talks,
are said to be spoiling Mugabe’s plan also inspired by his
anxiety to salvage his legacy and secure a grand exit whenever he
decides to leave office or he is forced to go by circumstances.
A unity arrangement
would also give him an opportunity to resolve the convoluted Zanu-PF
succession crisis threatening to split and disintegrate his part
if he goes without resolving it as it would guarantee national reconciliation
also said Mugabe is already under pressure from within Zanu-PF to
resolve the succession issue and indicate when he would leave given
his age and frailty.
the elections have come and gone, there is renewed pressure in the
party for the succession issue to be resolved. Some leaders want
this sorted during the annual conference at the end of the year,
since it can be transformed into a mini-congress, while others want
the party to want until the scheduled congress next year.”
that Mugabe’s succession issue has exploded again were shown
by Vice-President Joice Mujuru when she said last weekend she was
ready to step in rule if the veteran leaders dies.
Mujuru had earlier
during the party’s first post-election politburo meeting warned
his rivals in faction led by outgoing Defence Minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa to avoid claiming the elections victory as theirs when
it was a “Team Zanu-PF” win.
Mugabe’s grand exit plan is still intact even though there
are challenges triggered by the blazing row over the alleged rigging
of the elections.
was belligerent in his speech yesterday attacking Western countries
for rejecting his disputed re-election and describing Tsvangirai
and the MDC parties as “bad losers” and “real
spoilers”, he was conciliatory at the tail-end of his address,
saying “our common destiny bids us to work together, never
I owe nothing but praise and respect for my GPA-era
partners who are also my fellow countrymen. I am referring to former
Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, former Deputy Prime Minister
Professor Arthur Mutambara and, much later, Professor Welshman Ncube,”
worked together, initially compelled by the GPA protocols, we eventually
found each other and produced the current constitution… our
common destiny bids us to work together, never at cross-purposes.
More important, that destiny bids us to work for the wellbeing and
in defence of our people who must always come first.”
sources said, knows he is serving his last term and wants to leave
office with the nation “united”, hence the overtures
of high- level unity talks which are likely to be escalated now
that the court battle over results has ended and Mugabe has been
said Mugabe had planned a big inauguration ceremony, hoping to send
a message across the world that he is still popular in Zimbabwe
and in the region. He wanted yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony
to be similar to that of 1980 when he first assumed office.
he had invited 51 heads of state and former heads to the occasion
in a bid to show he still had popular support, especially in Africa.
The list was cut down to 40 and then 30 leaders but only six heads
of state and government attended the ceremony, while some countries
sent representatives at lower levels.
Mugabe lashed out at European Union (EU) and United States (US)
for rejecting his re-election, he also struck a peacemaking note
as his grand exit plan can only work well if he ends his international
isolation and is re-admitted back to the global community of nations.
and diplomatically we remain friendly and well-disposed towards
all nations. We seek friendships. We seek partnerships. We seek
to diversify our relations to encompass new, emerging regions of
the world,” Mugabe said yesterday. “Principally, we
continue to look East, hoping all those countries which had held
back on fears of our unsettled situation here can now move forward
to partner with us on clearer parameters laid out in our policies.”
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