21 July 2009: Revealed: Mugabe Using Kariba Draft To Settle Succession
Zimbabwe police screen delegates to the Constitutional Conference as it resumed after disturbances by ZANU PF, which has said it is willing to let the Inclusive Government die over the issue of the Kariba Draft. It now emerges that, to Mugabe, the Draft is a crucial ingredient to his succession recipe.It now emerges that Robert Mugabe is using the Kariba Draft to settle the thorny succession issue within ZANU PF.Not many people have bothered to read through the Kariba Draft or to find out why it is objectionable and undemocratic. I have explained here before that Mugabe favours it because of the widespread and dictatorial powers granted to the president under this Draft.But this is not the main reason, an extremely high-placed source within ZANU PF has revealed.One of the provision of the Kariba Draft is that the president will serve a maximum of two terms, after which he is compelled to step down and not contest.Crucially, though, should the president die while in office or should he step down, then parliament can elect a new president, who will govern until the previous president's term of office expires. Currently, the new president will have to call new elections within a 90 days or three months.This means that, should a president win the election this year and step down after six months, say, his successor, appointed by parliament, will then be constitutionally entitled to serve for the remaining 4 years and six months, almost a full term.In this way, Zimbabweans can have a president foisted on them whom they would never vote for in an election. They will not have a chance to vote on his ascendancy until almost a full term is expired.Mugabe, who has already settled on a successor (a story I broke here last year), intends to do exactly this. He will run again (of that there is no doubt whatsoever), and step down soon after "winning".My source cautions: "There is no way Mugabe is going to resign without a ZANU PF majority in parliament."Once he steps down, the legislative assembly will then basically anoint Mugabe's chosen successor.As my source reveals, Mugabe told Politburo that "ZANU PF is going to rule this country kusvinga madhongi amera nyanga (until donkeys grow horns). We can not let the party that liberated this country die."THE PLAN: is to make sure whoever Mugabe chooses to take over after him will have enough time to stamp his authority on all arms of government and cement his position, while preparing to win the next elections. He will be able to weed out people who he sees as "against" him in all areas of the new regime.The Electoral Commission, the Judiciary, the media (state-owned, at least), the armed forces, the judiciary, state owned companies, in fact, all areas of Zimbabwean public life are expected to be overhauled to fall in line behind the new president, just as they do behind the current one.Once he has cemented his position like this over the four or so years he is president, the new president will go to the next elections in an extremely strong position, having used patronage to position his own people in key areas.It will be Mugabe all over again.It is expected that such an election would then be walkover for the new president, even if he should fiddle the count and insert zeros where there will be none, in other words, rig.This is the single most important reason why Mugabe says he is willing to let the Inclusive Government die if he does not get his and ZANU PF's way with the Kariba Draft.His successor currently occupies prime Cabinet real estate, one of the most crucial ministries for any Head of State. Those in the know realise that this is basically a grooming exercise. As he runs that ministry, the successor is already working on one area of crucial importance, realigning things before his next assignment.The process of succession is already under way, but as with everything Mugabe does, all is not what it seems!So then, now you know, and I dare say you support the Kariba Draft at your own peril, you can not plead ignorance later!