Investors are worried about the political uncertainty occasioned by the internecine fights to succeed President Robert Mugabe, which are rocking his Zanu-PF party.
Mugabe has maintained a stranglehold at the helm of the party, which is dominated by two rival camps: one allegedly headed by Vice President Joice Mujuru and the other by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the powerful justice minister.
However, the gloves have come off ahead of an elective congress scheduled for next month, with Mugabe’s wife, Grace, emerging as a new force in the Mnangagwa faction’s bid to elbow out Mujuru.
Analysts in Zimbabwe say that investors are watching the political fights rocking Mugabe’s party keenly.
Mnangagwa is believed to be a hardliner keen to carry on with Mugabe’s stance on policies, while Mujuru, whose late husband was a retired general who commanded respect within army and political ranks i n Zanu- PF, is considered soft.
“I nvestors will keenly watch political developments because this has a bearing on future policy positions. Mujuru and Mnangagwa have dif f erent i deologies and approaches to i ssues and who takes over will probably determine how i nvestors will be treated i n Zimbabwe,” said economic analyst Johannes Kwangwari.
Mugabe’s wife has publicly attacked Mujuru, accusing her of corruption and calling for her to step down. Mnangagwa, on the other hand, has remained silent although the state- controlled media i s carrying dirty stories about Mujuru’s faction, a situation t hat analysts say i s meant to pressure Mujuru to drop out of the race to take over from Mugabe.
The opposition in Zimbabwe, led by Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has failed to capitalise on the political instability rocking Mugabe’s party. The MDC held its elective congress at the weekend, where Tsvangirai, who initially faced a revolt from party insiders calling on him to step down, entrenched his grip on power.
Takunda Mugaga, an economist at Econometer Global Capital, said that investors had now accepted the hard reality of Zimbabwe’s i ndigenisation policy and that their worries had moved on from uncertainty over the regulatory a nd business cl i mate t o t h e political front.