Mil­i­tary has no role in Mu­gabe suc­ces­sor – army chief

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

Zimbabwe’s mil­i­tary has no say on who should take over from Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe, the coun­try’s army com­man­der said, as ten­sion mounts within the rul­ing party over who will suc­ceed Africa’s old­est leader.

Mu­gabe, 92, has held power since the coun­try gained in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain in 1980. But he is in­creas­ingly look­ing frail, stok­ing a scram­ble in Zanu-PF to suc­ceed him. Lo­cal me­dia say some top mil­i­tary gen­er­als and a group within Zanu-PF are back­ing VP Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa to suc­ceed Mu­gabe. An­other fac­tion is widely be­lieved to be ma­noeu­vring to im­pose Mu­gabe’s wife Grace as a pos­si­ble suc­ces­sor.

Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Va­le­rio Sibanda, the Zimbabwe national army com­man­der, told the state-owned Sun­day Mail news­pa­per that the mil­i­tary should not get in­volved. “In Zanu-PF the mil­i­tary has no role to play in terms of suc­ces­sion pol­i­tics, and that is the long and short of it,” he said, in his first com­ments on the suc­ces­sion is­sue. Last year in De­cem­ber, Mu­gabe warned against the coun­try’s mil­i­tary gen­er­als and other se­cu­rity ser­vices sup­port­ing dif­fer­ent can­di­dates, say­ing it could ruin Zanu-PF. Op­po­si­tion par­ties ac­cuse mil­i­tary com­man­ders of work­ing hard to en­sure Zanu-PF re­mains in power.

REUTERS

Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe ad­dresses to his sup­port­ers dur­ing an elec­tion rally in Chi­tung­wiza, Zimbabwe/

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