via ‘Zimbabwe on the brink’ – DailyNews Live 20 November 2015
HARARE – Zimbabwe is on the brink of total collapse and the infighting in Zanu PF could trigger unprecedented chaos in the country – with the death of two political activists from the ruling party – a sign of a “rotten regime” that is on its “wits end”, the Oxford linked NKC African Economics (NKC) has said.
Citing the resurgence of political violence and rising poverty levels, as well as continued company closures in the country, the respected economic think-tank said Zanu PF is now in a cul-de-sac.
In its latest report, NKC predicts the downfall of President Robert Mugabe’s party – which has ruled Zimbabwe for the past 35 years.
In the report titled, “Renewed violence an inevitable consequence of regime decay,” NKC says Zanu PF is walking dead.
“The US (United States) and European Union (EU) have raised a fresh red flag over reports of increasing violence and growing repression in Zimbabwe. These are issues we highlighted some time ago as likely consequences of regime decay and increasing political instability,” the report reads.
According to NKC, the prevailing economic conditions place Zimbabwe in the ‘Potential Conflict Watch’ list that also includes countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, and Western Sahara.
“The increase in violence, intimidation and inevitable repression has seen a renewed clampdown on government opponents with the arrests of more than 50 people during the second week of November at various protests and student demonstrations,” noted NCK in its report.
The economic think-tank also buttressed views made by analysts last week that Zanu PF’s ugly factional fights could turn violent-with Mugabe now unable to meet the rigours and demands of his punishing workload due to old age.
“The simmering succession contest taking place within the ruling party is also resulting in conflict and violence as First Lady Grace Mugabe turns on her one-time ally (and her husband’s most likely successor), Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Mrs Mugabe’s intentions are unclear though she clearly has some ambitions, and her methods of inciting violence and her venomous tongue have turned on Mnangagwa. The internal conflict in Zanu PF has at least as much potential for violence as inter-party conflict. Both are being fuelled by the simmering discontent in Zimbabwe – a consequence of a growing economic crisis and rising frustration and anger.”
The UK-based research company also added that Zimbabwe’s political system has long appeared immune to any domestic or external pressures, and has defied all predictions to date of its imminent demise.
“We suggest that those days may now be numbered due to a series of fresh hammer blows to its long-suffering people.
“We have already argued that the combined impact of several recent economic blows on ordinary people – removing hawkers from the streets and denying them even that meagre existence, thereby adding thousands of new unemployed to a number that is already terrifyingly large – is not sustainable and is likely to increase the level of anger, frustration, and desperation in the country. Inevitably, confrontation, violence and repression will follow.
“If we put rising internal conflict within Zanu PF and plans to drastically reduce the public payroll into the mix, it becomes even more toxic. Zimbabwe has moved closer to the brink,” added the report.
Analysts have said contrary to the government’s heavy propaganda, the Zimbabwe economy is “definitely dying”, as manifested by worsening liquidity challenges, company closures and job losses.