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President Robert Mugabe, is all but certain to relinquish power before Christmas time this year, bringing a final end to his over three decades of brute authoritarianism pervading Zimbabwe, The Telescope News reports.

High level government officials and intelligence sources, have confirmed that Mugabe is now winding up his rule, and is preparing for retirement at his traditional home area of Zvimba, which is located in Mashonaland West Province, amid boiling point pressure by his powerful military generals, who are reportedly planning a "soft landing" for the nonagenarian as they prepare to take new orders and salute, justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom they have allegedly annointed as the next likely Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), Commander-in-Chief.

The Telescope News, early this month reported an undisputed story by government, which brought to light how Mugabe and his Vice President, Joice Mujuru, have been vanquished by their closet party foes. Mnangagwa appears to be gathering momentum and more power, thanks to his close links with State security oligarchy, ahead of Mujuru who is banking on the Zanu PF constitution alone, to propel her to the top as Mugabe's successor.

Although Mujuru according to other Zanu PF senior figures, has been mounting a "serious fight" to contain Mnangagwa and remain ahead of the succession race, her faction is now "too weak" to stand in the former defence minister's way and his backers, who include China and the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

"The CIO appear to have realised that, Mnangagwa is the only candidate who can perpetuate the status quo, and bring some stability in a post-Mugabe era. They are now pushing for the party to appoint Mnangagwa, as the definite successor to Mugabe, and want him to finish off Mugube's term of office," our informants said this month.

Ironically, the CIO is headed by Presidential affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, a powerful Mujuru ally, but the pendulum of allegiance within the agency is reportedly tilted in favour of the Mnangagwa faction.

"People must not be fooled by graveside outburts by Mugabe," said a senior administration official referring to remarks made by Mugabe a fortnight ago, during the burial of Nathan Shamuyarira, at the Heroes Acre in Harare. Mugabe fired many salvos and a broadside against his information minister, Jonathan Moyo, for using his intellect to divide Zanu PF describing him as a weevil and devil incarnate. "The fact that Moyo is still having his job, speaks a lot for itself. Under normal circumstances, when the president of any country attacks a minister in public like that, the next thing that follows is firing that person from government. However in the case of Moyo, Mnangagwa himself and the generals stopped Mugabe from taking any further action against him. Moyo has already done a good job in damaging the Mujuru camp for them, using the media."

"The media must dig deeper, because Mugabe's succession race is long over. It is now a public secret in government that come November or December, the president might be asked to rest and retire, by people you already know. There is political anxiety building up, with those opposed to him (Mugabe) seeing the development as the last kicks of a dying horse, as he puts up a brave face in public. Others are really in fear because, they simply do not like Mnangagwa, and prefer Mujuru, because they see themselves ruling together by manipulating her."

First Lady, Grace Mugabe, yesterday, all but confirmed in State newspapers that she has no influence, at this juncture, to influence Mugabe to stay in office, during a tour of her Childen's Home in Mazowe by members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Collaborators' Association. Some believe her remarks are telling, and show how the first lady recognises the backdoor power yielded by securocrats, insofar as the first family's future is concerned. Grace had previously been reported, to be fronting a new faction within Zanu PF allegedly campaigning, for former central bank chief, Gideon Gono, to replce Mugabe, but these reports seem to have now fallen flat on their face.

"President Mugabe was chosen by the people, he would not be President if the people did not choose him. I do not have the mandate to tell the President to stay put. God gave people eyes to see and they will decide whom they want to lead them," said the first lady.

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