Mugabe must resolve succession issue

via Mugabe must resolve succession issue – DailyNews Live 13 August 2015

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe must quickly resolve the succession crisis, which is threatening to tear his Zanu PF party apart, as part of steps to bring back investor confidence and revive the country’s moribund economy.

We are not suggesting in anyway that the nonagenarian leader is about to depart this world — a journey everyone will take someday — but the economy is in a quandary reminiscent of the 2008 hyperinflation era and investors are not coming to the party due to factional fights in Zanu PF.

Since his controversial re-election in 2013, the country’s economy has remained trapped in the throes of an unsustainably high government debt, massive disinvestment, de-industrialisation, low productivity and a rampant informal sector that is not contributing to the fiscus through taxes among other things.

This mediocre and rampant mismanagement of the economy cannot be resolved overnight without bringing the issue of succession to the front.

While Zimbabwe’s new Constitution gives Mugabe the right to name a successor to complete his term of office if he retires, we expect him to map out a clear succession plan to ensure that there is no chaos in the country when he finally departs.

From where we currently stand as a nation, the important thing is that the succession issue, which has been elusive in Zimbabwe for so long, has to be resolved even if Mugabe remains in power for another few years.

Instead of the usual rhetoric that “people will choose” Mugabe’s successor, the party has to clarify who will succeed him when he finally goes. It is this clarity — or lack of it — that has held investors from injecting their capital into the economy.

And it makes perfect sense. Who would want to part with their hard-earned money without assurances of continuity in the country when the incumbent president dies or is incapacitated while still in office?

History has shown us that unresolved succession issues have resulted in bloodshed, untold suffering and economic decline in countries such as Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau and Egypt among others.

Mugabe must understand that succession, which has a significant impact on political stability and economic growth, is a certainty of politics the world over

As such, he must deal with this elephant in the room before serious waves of instability engulf his fragile party and the country with potentially cataclysmic costs.