Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is 90. He has never named a successor and there are indications he enjoys the confusion he spreads by seeming to favour one candidate and then another, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe. It is a measure of his ability to confuse that there is much chatter in Zimbabwe that he may resign at the December meeting, but there is an equally strong contingent that says Mugabe intends to die in office. An excerpt of Manthorpe’s new column:
It offers a glimpse into the dark recesses of Robert Mugabe’s soul that he has remained in power in Zimbabwe for over three decades by the masterful manipulation of his opponents’ weaknesses.
Some have been bought off. Others have had their gluttony for the trappings of power sated to the point of political surfeit and suicide. Those lusting to grab Mugabe’s political power have been tricked and trapped into exposing their own ambitions, and then removed.
When all else has failed, Mugabe’s opponents have died, usually in questionable circumstances.
But now Mugabe is 90 years old and time is running out, barring a Faustian deal to live forever – which many adherents of traditional culture in Zimbabwe would consider entirely plausible.
Log in to read the column, Contest to succeed Zimbabwe’s Mugabe heats up. (Subscription or day pass required*)
Click here for Jonathan Manthorpe’s page, with all of his columns for F&O.
*Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O serves and is entirely funded by readers who buy a subscription or a $1 site day pass. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from non-journalism foundations or causes.