Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was meant to attend a youth rally today. Instead, the 93-year-old is undergoing medical treatment for an undisclosed condition in Singapore for the third time this year.
Despite his age and health issues, Mugabe insists on seeking another term in the office he has held since 1980. The opposition will likely highlight an economic “death spiral,” brought on by a disastrous cash shortage. Yet, the opposition’s fragmentation—the different parties are struggling to unite behind a single candidate—could clear Mr Mugabe’s path to yet another term in next year’s election.
The battle to succeed him will likely be an intra-party affair of the ruling ZANU-PF. The main competitors are his wife, Grace Mugabe, and vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, each supported by their own faction within the party. Mr Mnagagwa has the backing of the army against Ms Mugabe’s group of younger party members.
Whoever it is, they will likely have to wait just a little longer; the world’s oldest head of state has vowed to only leave office simultaneously with the world of the living.
Delve deeper: Mugabe’s Zimbabwe: beyond the grave
Nicholas is an Italian politics aficionado. Nick brings his knowledge of southern Europe to bear in The Daily Brief team, where he serves as a senior analyst and editor.