Masvingo - Political analysts from all corners of the country have unanimously agreed that President Robert Mugabe is the ruling Zanu PF party's enemy number one whose age and dictatorial tendencies are threatening to destroy the revolutionary party beyond redemption.
Mugabe (92) who stands as the world's oldest president has since expressed interest to stand as Zanu PF's presidential candidate in 2018 despite the fact that he will be 94 years old. If he wins that election, he will serve for five years and will be leaving office at the age of 99 years.
Analysts who spoke to this publication said Mugabe's age has become a liability to both Zanu PF and the country since his continued stay is scaring away investors while creating factions within his party as people jostle for strategic positions in the party as as they anticipate a succession.
Harare based political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said Mugabe must do the honorable thing and leave power so that both Zanu PF and the country will move forward. He said currently people from government have redirected their energy towards fighting for positions instead of development.
"People who are supposed to come up with ideas to turn the economy around are busy fighting and are on a looting spree of whatever little resources that still remain in the country. The writing is on the wall for everyone to see that Mugabe's age has created fissures in Zanu PF. People are busy aligning themselves so that they can get as close as they can to the presidency.
"The only enemy which Zanu PF has is Mugabe and if order is to be restored, Mugabe has to go. Everyone in the ruling party thinks that Mugabe will not be around for long and that is why they are all thinking about their political careers. Mugabe should have appointed a successor before he turned 90," said Mukundu.
"Mugabe's age now requires for him to go home and rest. He should let young and energetic blood take over but as it stands, he wants to die in office. He does not care what will happen to Zanu PF or the country after he is gone," added Mukundu.
Another analyst Dr Takavafira Zhou said there is a power vacuum in Zanu PF which is manifesting as two bitterly opposed rival factions; G40 and Team Lacoste. Dr Zhou said Mugabe must plan for his exit.
"It is high time Mugabe thinks of a dignified exit. That is the only way he can scrap a little respect from the people of Zimbabwe. His age is the reason why Zanu PF is at war. He has lost control of the ship and nobody listens to him.
"There are high levels of corruption under his watch and people are getting away with it since Mugabe lost authority long back. It is normal that at his age death can visit him at any time but he does not want to resolve the succession dispute. Zanu PF will die with Mugabe if he does not hand over the button soon," said Dr Zhou.
Former Zanu PF member who has now joined opposition politics with the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) Rtd Col Kudzai Mbudzi said all the conflicts within Zanu PF are centred on Mugabe's age and they can only be destroyed by destroying Zanu PF.
"Mugabe is now a liability to Zanu PF and nobody genuinely likes him. Everyone is pretending to be a darling to the old man but in reality they want him to go. He can rig everything but age has caught up with him. The economy has suffered because of him since nobody trusts him.
"Mugabe has even lost control of his wife Grace," said Mbudzi.
Another Masvingo based political analyst and lecturer at Great Zimbabwe University Mabweazara Mugodzwa said Zimbabwe has a leadership crisis that require a complete system overhaul.
"Mugabe has outlived his usefulness. All hope and trust has been lost because of the old man. He should look deep down in his heart and do the honourable thing. He does not have the power and energy to stir this country forward. Someone in Zanu PF has to step up and deal with this enemy who has caused turmoil in the party.
"Mugabe is responsible for the creation of Team Lacoste and G40 factions because of his selfishness. These warring factions will tear Zanu PF apart. The party is sitting on a ticking time bomb," said Mugodzwa.
Zimbabweans have of late stood up against Mugabe calling for his immediate resignation using the various means at their disposal chief among them being social media platforms.
However, another analyst Jowere Mukusha dismissed Mugabe's critics saying Zanu PF has its own democratic structures which would have allowed them to remove him (Mugabe) long back if he was a liability.
"Mugabe is not a liability to both Zanu PF and the country… the fact that they still rally behind him means that they (Zanu PF) still believe in him and they love his leadership," said Mukusha.