President Robert Mugabe has made it clear that he has no plans to step down as Zimbabwe’s president as he hopes to live until he is 100. Mr.Mugabe disclosed this on Thursday in a two-hour interview with state broadcaster ZBC TV
“I am happy because I am about to reach the age I want. You know the age I want to reach – 100 years. So only eight years remain” he told the interviewer. This comments from Africa’s oldest leader,are his clearest indication that he wants to be president for life.
When asked during the interview who would succeed he responded: “Why successor? I am still there. Why do you want a successor? I did not say I was a candidate to retire.” Making his point more forcibly, he asked the interviewer: “Do you want me to punch you to the floor to realize I am still there?”
He also said he was not behind his wife Grace’s quick rise within the ruling Zanu-PF party, which has led to reports that she has plans to succeed him. He said:
Others say the President wants to leave the throne for his wife. Where have you ever seen that, even in our own culture, where a wife inherits from her husband?
In a democratic party, you don’t want leaders appointed that way to lead the party. They have to be appointed properly by the people, at a gathering of the people, at a congress.
President Mugabe who is currently the oldest president in Africa and the world turned 92 in February. He led the struggle against white rule and became Zimbabwe’s first president in 1980 after the country gained formal independence from Britain.
He was chosen in 2014 to lead his party for another five years, automatically becoming its presidential candidate for the 2018 election. He will be 99 if he wins and completes that term, his last under a new constitution.
In 2014, Mugabe accused his deputy, Joice Mujuru, of plotting to oust him and sacked her. Ms Mujuru launched her own party this week – Zimbabwe People First – in a challenge to his authority.
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