At last, the President’s successor is…
LACK OF SUCCESSION PLAN BREEDS FACTIONALISM AND DESTROYS ECONOMY.
By Dr Masimba Mavaza | Graveyards are full of indispensable people, it has been said.
Life must go on, even after the irreplaceable have departed. So government businesses should be ready to continue when important figures leave. Yet this is something many fail to grasp. Zimbabwe has been engulfed in succession battles for the past years and seemingly there is no end in sight.
On the 13th March 2017, a war veteran, a farmer and Zanu PF provincial secretary for Manicaland province Cde Nathaniel Mhiripiri was murdered for factional reasons.
Ministers forget their duties and enter the fray to jostle for leadership. Inhuman activities are being carried, rumours are doing rounds and the business of the day is fully ignored.
On the 9th March 2017 a deputy minister was stopped from admitting some members of ZimPf back to ZANU PF, the situation was violent and the darkness enveloping the party has started to cover the country.
Ministers fear for their lives as other ministers have started to hunt, frame and chase them. All this is done in order to get closer to the throne should anything happen. People labour under a weird illusion that Zanu PF has no succession plan in place, should they leave the government. Some said they just did not have time to plan, while others say the talent to rule appeared to be lacking internally at least.
There may be many reasons why senior executives, and chief executives in the party fail to prepare properly for their departure, and perhaps end up staying too long in the post as a result.
Having worked hard to get to the top, the last thing that many will want to think about is their successor. Exercising power may have an intoxicating effect on leaders. They may form an exaggerated sense both of their competence and their indispensability and then fail to detect much merit in anyone else around them.
But it should be clearly understood that Zanu PF operates on a constitution. The successor is voted for at congress and not appointed by the President. Blaming the president for succession confusion is flabbergasting. Furthering the careers of potential rivals may not seem like a good idea in an uncertain world. So a new leader must be chosen when he is about to take over. It is quite a rare thing that the chief executive who has the self-confidence gets to put the question of his or her departure on the agenda. But there is always work to be finished before departing the office.
“You are perhaps being asked to think about people who may be better than you in the job. ”The complexity involved in leadership roles is only likely to increase. So looking for a successor means finding someone who is you, and more.” This problem is seen even in the opposition: Tsvangirai has refused to put the plan on the table ]while those like Biti, and Mangoma received severe beating for demanding transparency.
Those who think they are worth to succeed have caused more division than unity. It is a widely held view that insiders make better successors as chief executives than outside candidates, a special sort of person, an “inside outsider,” might do best of all. While some insiders might be too closely tied to prevailing orthodoxies and legends that exist in politics, the successful candidate from inside must be able to look at his or her country as if it is just freed.
In an era of flatter hierarchies where the opportunities for upward promotion may be limited, a series of challenging lateral moves called “stretch assignments” might help develop experience and capability. “It is about giving people ‘a coat that is one size too big’
‘Succession plans are often beautiful works of fiction. Sometimes, no one has ever spoken to the people involved. Everybody wants to succeed but nobody wants to come out public. It should be noted that measuring people against these succession fracas may give you some objective data to base big decisions on. But a lot of the process of selecting future presidents can actually be quite subjective.
“The conversation is around ‘will their peers be led by this person?,’ ‘Can I imagine seeing [them] at the top table as a President. This, of course, can lead to certain types of candidates being overlooked by those who cannot imagine anybody unlike them ever taking on the top job.
The dangers of getting these choices wrong are obvious. Much damage can be done to a country and much value destroyed by the wrong chief executive. But equally allowing a corporate leader to overstay his or her useful time at the top is also harmful.
For those who have not started planning it is already a bit late.
“Management of succession must be at the core of how you run the country. Never believe that you are irreplaceable. The country is full of able bodied persons.
“But when those who think that they are indispensable are finally fired, they would be forgotten within weeks and things will go fine. Very few leaders are truly ‘indispensable’.”
So the belief that no one is able has caused divisions and uncertainty but as for Zanu PF the succession plan is in the constitution.