'Mugabe must rule forever'

2010-10-17 13:41

Harare -The women's league of President Robert Mugabe's party want him to run in the next election and rule the country forever, state media reported on Sunday.

"We endorse your candidature. We are saying stand in the next election and rule forever," Oppah Muchinguri, the secretary of Zanu-PF Women's League was quoted as saying by the Sunday Mail.

"Your work cannot be compared to that of anyone else. Do not leave us."

Muchinguri was speaking at the league's annual assembly which was Mugabe attended on Saturday.

The 86-year-old, who has ruled the southern African country since independence in 1980, currently shares power with his former rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai following a political deal signed in 2008.

Last week, Mugabe said Zimbabwe's unity government should dissolve within months and called for elections next year despite stalled efforts at political reform.

"We do not want to pass June (2011) without elections. We want acceleration of pace," Mugabe told the women.

No election date has been set yet but both Mugabe and Tsvangirai's parties say they are ready for the ballot.

The unity government has faced crippling tension over the allocation of key positions since its creation in 2009.

Last week, Mugabe stirred fresh conflict within the power-sharing government when he appointed ambassadors to the United Nations, the European Union and South Africa without consulting Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai has asked the UN and the EU not to recognise the ambassadors named solely by Mugabe.