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There have been sensational claims in The Telescope News that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, might step down from office before the end of November 2014.

The outlet claims that an Asian diplomat said that Mugabe was on the verge of handing power to justice minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to finish his presidential term due to alleged pressure from China and his hardline military generals.

This means that, Zanu PF may end up not going for an elective congress next month, a massive blow to bigwigs in the party, who have been working hard behind the curtains, to secure top posts in the presidium.

"China has made massive economic investments in Zimbabwe, and will not risk having Zanu PF led by someone likely to undo these agreements, especially in mining," reportedly said the diplomat.

"Zimbabwe is also of strategic political importance to them, so one can say they are having a hand in what is taking place at the moment, including the mounting of pressure for Mugabe to avoid taking the party to congress, so their desired successor (Mnangagwa) can be assisted by the military to come into power, for continuity purposes of their foreign policy on Zimbabwe. Your president might not last this whole month in office."

The Telescope News reported in September that, Mugabe allegedly discussed his succession hand over, with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during his visit to Beijing that month.

A presidential party delegate who traveled with Mugabe, revealed that the ailing leader held a closed door evening meeting with Jinping, which was not disclosed to both Zimbabwean and Chinese media a day after he arrived in China.

China seems to have now made it a public secret, that it is in favour of Mnangagwa ahead of Vice President, Joice Mujuru, to replace Mugabe, following reports that she has set aside, a whopping US$1 billion loan facility, for the economic resuscitation of Zimbabwe, should a Mnangagwa presidency materialise, first disclosed by this publication on 25 June 2014.

The army yesterday denied that, Mugabe was under siege from his generals to call it a day before Zanu PF goes for congress.

"There is nothing of that nature," said a public relations officer. "The Telescope News is full of drunken writers."

In other news, there are reports that President Robert Mugabe could be elevated to the level of a spirit medium - a new 'Mbuya Nehanda' - when he dies.

This would make him more powerful after his death than he is while living, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition board chairperson Dewa Mavinga said.

He was speaking at the launch of a book titled 'Protracted Road to Transition Dissecting Zimbabwe's Succession Conundrum.'

"The only thing that is predictable about Zanu PF is its unpredictability. The country is in a conundrum and because the ruling party controls no less than 76% of local government problems within the party have a snowball effect on the country," said Mavinga.

"There is a visible opaqueness on the succession issue and instead of 90 year-old President Robert Mugabe indicating when he is likely to leave power. He is actually giving an indication he is not going anywhere despite serious concerns over his health and age."

Mavinga said Mugabe might be elevated to the same level as revered Second Chimurenga heroine Mbuya Nehanda, executed by the colonial regime for agitating against their rule.

"In fact our analysis is that Mugabe could be more powerful in death than when he is alive. There will be ceremonies, and meeting that will be held in his honour.

"Decisions will be made in his name and even structures such as the politburo will convene meetings at which decisions will be taken with a view as to what he would have said had he been alive. He will be elevated maybe to the same level as Mbuya Nehanda," he said.

According to Mavinga, the book crafted after a year-long interrogation by political and social experts, gives at least three scenarios that are likely to happen.

"The first is a democratic transition in which vice president Joice Mujuru would benefit given the fact the she is the only deputy Mugabe has and the constitution is clear that the last acting President will take over for 90 days prior to the governing party sitting to elect a new leader.

"That however, may also change if the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction decides that Mujuru will not serve their interest and would have done her part after 90 days," Mavinga said.

"The second scenario is the precluded transition, signified by the flouting of the constitution, chaos, conflict and the risk of a bloodbath while the third is the oligarch transition signified by the appointment of a preferred successor by Mugabe in line with the national constitution through shrewd political manoeuvring".

Another scenario, according to the publication, is one that brings in First Lady Grace Mugabe.

"The paper posits that the emergence of Grace Mugabe and the lady who constitutionally would be heir apparent, Joice Mujuru is a manifestation of the resurrection of a historically stated intent by Mugabe to rule till death.

"It posits that, Grace Mugabe is introduced into the political terrain to stem perceived and real aspirations especially by Mujuru and her backers to ascend to the presidency during Mugabe's lifetime.

"The paper links current developments and discourses in the late 80s aspirations by Mugabe for a one party state as well as his then life presidency aspirations".

Mujuru and Mnangagwa are locked in a bitter struggle in a bid to take over from Mugabe ahead of an elective congress set for December.  - newzimbabwe/telescope

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