The succession struggle, tainted by tribalism, corruption, intimidation and greed, has started in earnest:
With Robert Mugabe having announced that he plans to step down as president of Zimbabwe in 2008, controversy continues to rage over the question of who will replace him.
Mugabe - in power for a quarter of a century - made clear who was his own favourite candidate for succession when he shoehorned his longstanding ally Joice Mujuru into the post of vice- president late last year.
But another member of the president's ZANU PF party, Emmerson Mnangagwa - who had been widely viewed as a natural successor before being sidelined by the move - retains support.
Mujuru - who earned the nickname Teurai Ropa, or Spill Blood
Mnangagwa -- a shrewd political player also known as Ngwenja, or Crocodile –
Mnangagwa and Joice Mujuru both belong to Zimbabwe's biggest tribe, the Shona. But within this tribe, Mnangagwa comes from a clan called the Karanga, while Mujuru belongs to Mugabe's own Zezuru clan.
Since power fell into the hands of Mugabe - a ruthless Zezuru intellectual who led the ZANU movement but did no fighting himself - many Karangas feel he has ignored their contribution, sidelined their leaders and promoted members of his own clan.
To make things more complicated, the coalition behind Mnangagwa's bid for the vice-presidency also involved members of a smaller Shona clan, the Manyika, and members of Zimbabwe's other main tribe, the Ndebele.
… Mnangagwa's best option would be to form an alliance with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, along with representatives of the Manyika and Ndebele.
"Then we will see where Mugabe and his Zezurus get the mandate to rule Zimbabwe," said Mapfupa.