Zimbabwe Infighting Opens Mugabe Succession Battle

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace greet the crowd upon arrival at the ZANU-PF 6th National Congress, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Dec. 6, 2014 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace greet the crowd upon arrival at the ZANU-PF 6th National Congress, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Dec. 6, 2014 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

Zimbabwe has been a de facto one-party state since the mid-1980s, despite the formal trappings of a multiparty system and a series of fraudulent elections. Real politics, in terms of decision-making and genuine contests for power, is inevitably confined within the ruling party, ZANU-PF. The sole exception to this was the government of the national unity period between 2009 and 2013, although even then, the hegemony of ZANU-PF and President Robert Mugabe remained largely intact despite convincing electoral defeats in 2008. However, because the party is in thrall to Mugabe—and given his frequent assertions of what amounts to a divine […]

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