Zimbabwe

'I'm the only acceptable candidate': Mugabe

2017-02-20 06:07
Robert Mugabe (File: AP)

Robert Mugabe (File: AP)

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Mugabe allies hint they could ditch his party
Mugabe allies hint they could ditch his party

Zimbabwean war veterans, who have given President Robert Mugabe key support in past, have vowed to rally behind "competent" candidates in next year's elections even those from the opposition.

Harare - Don't hold your breath. President Robert Mugabe might be turning 93 on Tuesday but he's got no intention of stepping down.

Mugabe, who's been in power since 1980, said in an interview to mark his birthday: "If I feel that I can't do it anymore, I will say so to my party."

"But for now I think I can't say so. The majority of people feel that there is no replacement," the president told an interviewer from the state ZBC television, insisting that he was supported "everywhere in the party". Excerpts from the interview were published in the official Sunday Mail.

The longtime leader appears increasingly slow in public but won't even confirm if he's grooming a successor. "A successor is groomed by the people.... When the people see that they trust their leaders, (that they are) beyond corruption... sure that's grooming," he said.

There's widespread suspicion Mugabe's wife Grace might be aiming for the top spot though she faces bitter opposition in a faction of the ruling party aligned to vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa. 

In the first of what will be a series of countrywide rallies, the first lady said Friday that Mugabe could be fielded in next year's election as a corpse

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