Political observers yesterday offered a slew of interpretations and conspiracy theories about the future of embattled Vice President Joice Mujuru, Zanu PF and Zimbabwe, following Thursday's brutal purging of her allies from positions of power within the ruling party.

Among her sympathisers who were dealt savage blows by President Robert Mugabe at a politburo meeting that was held in Harare was party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, who was suspended from the party for five years, and war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda who was summarily expelled from the party of liberation.

Alex Magaisa, a United Kingdom-based law professor, said it was clear that Thursday's politburo meeting was a well-orchestrated Mugabe version of "the night of the long knives".

"The idea was to clear the deck and remove all political opponents. This will preserve his position but also allow him to clear a path for his preferred successor, who in my opinion is someone beyond the ones that are often mentioned (Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa)," he said.

"Mugabe is a master of divide and rule politics. He has simply used one faction to defeat the other, just like he did in 2004 when he used the Mujuru faction to defeat Mnangagwa. Mugabe knows that if he names a successor, they will become restless. He prefers to keep them guessing," the former aide to Morgan Tsvangirai said.

"I think Mujuru's chances have now been reduced to very little, if any. By suspending and expelling these important figures he (Mugabe) is sending a warning signal to all others," Magaisa said.

Another political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said it was becoming increasingly clear that Mugabe wanted to be "life president" of the country.

"What more life, indeed, remains to a 90-year-old leader whose country has a life expectancy rate of less than 40 years? But the purging of Gumbo and other Mujuru allies has nothing to do with his life presidency. In fact the people Zanu PF is purging have never campaigned against Mugabe's stay in power," he said.

"The purges are being orchestrated by a faction that has an upper hand over Mugabe's decisions. A faction where his wife is a member, these purges are about this faction's takeover after Mugabe. It's not about Mugabe's life presidency which no one in Zanu PF apart from (Information minister) Jonathan Moyo has ever challenged," Saungweme said.

Dewa Mavhinga, chairperson of Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe, said it was unfortunate that in the context of general lawlessness and factional fights within Zanu PF, "the in-fashion things are votes of no confidence and suspensions as has happened to the Rugare Gumbo".

"This does have an impact on succession politics as it clears the path for Mugabe to become a life president, but this does not in any way end factionalism," he said.


Mukoma Simba
0 # Mukoma Simba 2014-11-16 09:59
He is a trickster.. Mugabe is playing with peoples minds.. He is going to keep them guessing until he is dead, fulfilling his wish of life president
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ian Gumbo
+1 # ian Gumbo 2014-11-16 11:11
I think President Mugabe should handover to justice minister .Mnangagwa is wise man and I go for this man.encourage all the Zimbabwean to vote for Mnangagwa.Its too early to have a female in Zimbabwe .I don't. Don't hate female leaders no but the way they missuses these high post.President Mugabe deserve to be a life President because he is the one who came with the freedom for all in Zimbabwe
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cde masango
0 # cde masango 2014-11-17 06:36
Mugabe is not the one who came with freedom @Ian but it was brought by Zimbabweans of all walks of life you can't say munangagwa is a wise man.wise in what? Men are the ones who have been in power and have abused it to the extent of where we are today we need to fix the economy and Mugabe doesn't fit in
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+2 # Roell 2014-11-16 11:32
Ian Gumbo is really out of touch with reality just to say the least. Did Mugabe bring freedom on his own?? Are you saying man don't misuse power when we have such a living example in Zimbabwe. My friend you have been so brainwashed by ZANU PF that you can't even think outside the box.
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+1 # bornfree 2014-11-16 12:34
Hameno ikoko,ndimi muri kutozviona
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0 # Themba 2014-11-16 13:14
Tired of Mugabe
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+1 # wezhira 2014-11-16 14:17
Thanks Roel we are all supposed to benefit not an individual
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+1 # selele 2014-11-16 15:33
facts are being screwed so as to give Mugabe-Moyo-Mna gagwa leverage. Evrything is screwed up and people are being fed with lies!!
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0 # Dofo 2014-11-16 20:45
Pa[censored] pako Ian Gumbo ngochani
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