The ZANU PF annual people’s conference opened in Esigodini yesterday. Reports indicate that Mnangagwa will use the conference to cement a Stalin-like grip of his party position for him to contest in the 2023 elections when he will be 81 years old.
There are concerns that such a move will make the country a gerontocracy. Former President Mugabe was overthrown in a soft military coup in November 2017 at the age of 93.
Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza says that nothing tangible will come out of the ZANU PF Indaba. He said
Nothing will come out from that meeting. Those are annual rituals.
Another analyst who spoke to the Daily News, Rashweat Mukundu, said
… the conference will simply substitute the name of former president Robert Mugabe for that of ED and the rest will be the same.
Dewa Mavhinga bemoaned ZANU PF’s obsession with elections. He had his to say
Let’s not focus on elections, let’s focus on improving the lives of Zimbabweans. Instead of talking about the endorsement of a presidential candidate when you are barely a few months from the elections, Zanu should focus on how to solve the multiplicity of problems that the country is facing.
They must not focus on internal issues. Zanu PF should not be a party for itself it must be a party to serve Zimbabweans. If there is anything called new dispensation it must come from the way they do business, it must be business unusual, not business as usual. They must focus on things that matter not positions.
A professor of World Politics at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, Stephen Chan said
The leadership must agree to sacrifice many of its own economic interests. I do not see this happening at this moment in time. In any case, what is needed is not a conference of political leaders, but a conference of economic leaders, i.e. the minister of Finance and governor of the central bank in direct negotiations with the seniority of the IMF.