MOZAMBIQUE’s ruling Frelimo and its presidential candidate, Filipe Nyussi took an early lead in Wednesday’s general elections sensing victory, even though the main opposition Renamo has put fierce resistance while warning the polls might be rigged.
The Zimbabwe Independent Editorial
All the same Nyussi, a former Defence minister, is shoo-in to become the next president, replacing current leader Armando Guebuza.
Since the death of Samora Machel in 1986 in a plane crash in the mountainous region on his country’s border with apartheid South Africa, Mozambique has had two other post-independence leaders, Joaquim Chissano and Guebuza, whose second term expired this week.
The latest developments in Mozambique bring Zimbabwe into sharp focus. Despite that President Robert Mugabe is nearing 91 and his Zanu PF is going to a volatile elective congress in December to supposedly choose a new leadership for the next five years, there is no sign of a succession plan on the table.
In fact, Mugabe, who has badly mismanaged the country and impoverished its citizens, still wants to hang in there amid indications that he now wants to put his wife to perpetuate the status quo through dynastic politics and protect family interests, not serve the people.
It looks like Mugabe in the final analysis wants to be president for life — that sickening disease in African politics associated with anachronistic one-party state politics and dictatorships typical of the Cold War era — holding fort for his wife.
Because of Mugabe’s tragic obsession with power and trappings of office, Zanu PF and Zimbabwe look condemned to his toxic lifelong rule and attendant failures.
He would rather go down with his party or even the country. He doesn’t seem to care at all. Zimbabwe is not alone on succession problems in Africa, even though Mugabe’s age and his disastrous 34-year rule dramatises the problem prevalent from Cape to Cairo.
However, the difference between Zimbabwe and progressive African countries, save for some ruled by autocrats like Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Uganda, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Sudan and Chad, is that it has been run like a backyard by one failed leader for over 30 years.
In Southern Africa, Angola and Zimbabwe stand out when it comes to leaders who have been in power for over three decades.
Mozambique has just had elections two days ago and a new leader in coming in.
South Africa held elections in May and President Jacob Zuma, its fourth leader since 1994, is in his last term.
Malawi also held elections in May and Peter Mutharika replaced Joyce Banda, becoming the fourth leader since the fall of dictator Kamuzu Banda in 1993.
Botswana is going to hold polls next week and Ian Khama, the fourth post-independence leader, will serve his last term if he wins.
In November Namibia goes to elections and Hifikepunye Pohamba is likely to be replaced by Hage Geingob, the third leader since 1990.
However, in Zimbabwe Mugabe is hanging on despite running down the country, exposing people to joblessness, destitution, poverty, disease and hunger.
His explosive succession battle and his wife’s destabilising entry into politics has unleashed a wave of instability and turmoil within Zanu PF, endangering the future of the nation scarred by misrule and economic failure. Cry, the Beloved Country!