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Crisis Group Says Zimbabwe May Become Failed State

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) says mounting tensions in Zanu PF over President Robert Mugabe’s succession, First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entrance into mainstream politics, the dire economic crisis and related issues could see Zimbabwe sliding into a failed state.

In its latest report titled ‘Zimbabwe: Waiting for the Future', the ICG says Zimbabwe’s politics and economy are precarious raising the need for Zanu-PF to address on President Mugabe’s successor at the party’s elective December congress.

The report says despite "visibly waning capacities, 90-year-old Robert Mugabe shows no sign of wanting to leave office.

"The succession battle within his party is presented as a two-way race between Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, but the reality is more complex. Public battles have intensified, with intimidation and violence a disquieting feature."

Mugabe’s diminished ability to manage this discord will be severely tested ahead of its December National People’s Congress. The elevation of Mrs. Mugabe to head Zanu-PF’s Women’s League has complicated succession dynamics further.

The report adds that the Zanu PF government should seek to rebuild trust and collaboration with domestic and international constituencies by holding an inclusive national dialogue with the opposition and civil society on political, social and economic reforms needed to put the country back on the rails.

Zanu PF, the report says, should also clarify and act on key policy issues, such as indigenization, land reform and rule of law that many see as the reason for investors to stay away from the country.


The report also calls for a major culture change among political elites, as well as commitment to national as opposed to partisan and personal interests.

The ICG does not spare the opposition in its report, charging neither the government, nor opposing parties has a plan the country is willing to rally behind to extricate the country from its political and economic problems.

The ICG says the opposition Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai’s “cachet with international players has been severely dented” ostensibly because of infighting, splits and related ills.

The think-tank also says the MDC-T’s planned mass protests may be met by force by Harare with the expected deployment of the security forces.