Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party is looking to replace the Zimbabwean President, despite unanimously re-electing him as first secretary of the party. After last year’s election in which the government was forced into a coalition with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, members of the party are blaming Mugabe for its declining public support.  Mugabe has historically pitted different factions within ZANU-PF against each other in order to keep hold of power and, along the way, has left the country of Zimbabwe in complete despair.

The BBC’s Southern Africa correspondent Karen Allen in Harare says much of the debate these past few days has focused on factionalism and claims that individual personalities are seeking to undermine the party for their own personal gain.

IOL reported a quote in which Mugabe stated, “The party is eating itself up. The more intense the internal fighting is, the greater opportunity we give to the opposition. We should be able to admit that the election produced a result that left a huge dent on the party.  We are responsible for the poor performance in the election last year.”


According to Al-Jazeera English many senior officers in the security forces fought in Zimbabwe’s war of independence and remain loyal to Mugabe and have vowed never to recognize Morgan Tsvangirai, prime minister and opposition head, as leader.

During a political rally in Harare on Saturday, Mugabe said the country’s unity government had a ‘short life span’ and asked for the support of the 10,000 delegates in attendance.

Still, political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe, Eldred Masunungure said those predicting that Zanu-PF was mortally wounded were making a mistake: “People should confound wishful thinking with sober analysis. Zanu-PF went through tumultuous times 30 years ago.”

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With less than seven months until the World Cup is set to take place in South Africa, organizers are starting to feel the pressure of hosting a major sporting event.

Sports Illustrated reports that all10 World Cup stadiums are expected to be completed in time for June, ‘but there remain transportation problems and accommodation shortfalls, with 2010 World Cup organizing boss Danny Jordaan admitting those issues won’t be settled until after the draw is made and teams and fans know where they will be going.’

Still, South Africa will be largely benefiting from the soccer tournament.  Sindh Today writes that according to the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi,  the World Cup is expected to inject $7.46 billion into the South African economy and an estimated 415,000 new jobs.

Meanwhile, Financial Times columnist Simon Kuper disagrees, stating, “Unfortunately, the economic story is wrong. Barely any academic economist believes that countries get richer from hosting sports tournaments. South Africa has been told this: when its finance ministry flew in three eminent foreign sports economists for a workshop, they argued that, at best, the World Cup would not reduce South Africa’s economic growth. The country expects 500,000 foreign visitors for the tournament, or fewer than it receives in an average month. Much of the money to be made from them will not be made by South Africans.”

But, Gillian Saunders, head of specialist advisory services at Grant Thornton has a different take on the games. In IOL he said, “We will be on TV screens for weeks, and this is incomparable free media exposure – it would cost billions if we had to do it as advertising.”

Jordaan said he is working to improve South Africa’s global image and “convince skeptical fans from around the world that his crime-ridden country is safe.”

Official government statistics of 50 murders a day don’t help his case. Nonetheless, the government has poured more than $93 million into the South African police department and equipment according to SI.com