A political analyst, who requested anonymity, said it would be a mammoth task for Mugabe to erase the sad memories of Gukurahundi, land invasions and the 2008 elections, which have become his major stumbling block to achieving the position of ‘an elder statesman in Africa” in the mould of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Shakespeare Hamauswa also said it was improbable that Mugabe would retire before delivering some of his election promises, which might take several years to fulfill, considering that Western powers were unlikely to financially support the country.
In the Zanu-PF manifesto, Mugabe promised to create about US$7,3 billion through indigenisation of 1 138 companies across 14 key sectors of the economy to enable him to create 2,265 million jobs in the next five years.
If Mugabe achieved this, it would help reduce the unemployment rate which tops 85%.
Zanu-PF also promised to build 250 000 low-income housing units, 1 250 public houses and create 2 500 shell factories, flea and vendor market stands, build 310 clinics and 300 schools.
“I don’t see him retiring soon, unless something extraordinary happens like failing health,” said Hamauswa. ‘He will be working hard to turn the election promises into reality. Remember, he has said the people’s votes were not in vain and he would want to prove that.”
Political analyst, Charity Manyeruke also said Mugabe would not retire because he has a mandate to lead the country for the next five years. She said Mugabe would not want to disappoint those who elected him and he still needed to share his visions with Zimbabweans as he promised.
“I don’t see him retiring that early,” said Manyeruke.
“Sadc is also expecting his leadership, and he should live up to their expectations as he has always done.”
Outgoing Zimbabwe Ambassador to Senegal, Trudy Stevenson also believes Mugabe will not retire soon.
She said Mugabe wanted to try and rebuild the country, see the indigenisation of the economy “as well as keeping his party intact”.
Already, there is fierce jostling for Mugabe’s post, a development that is threatening to tear the revolutionary party apart. Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are said to be positioning themselves for the post in the event that Mugabe retires or dies in office.
The two have denied harbouring presidential ambitions.
But analysts said the two cannot openly declare their ambitions in Mugabe’s face, lest it would wrongly be construed.
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