'We don't need Mugabe's help to win elections,' says Zanu-PF

2018-05-28 20:00
 Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

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Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party has reportedly said that it does not need the help of former president Robert Mugabe, 94, to win the forthcoming elections, as he "has done enough for the party in the past".

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, stepped down from power following a military intervention that targeted "criminals around him" last year.

The nonagenarian's authoritarian reign left the southern African country in dire economic decline, triggering mass emigration and widespread collapse of public services, according to AFP.

The privately-owned Standard newspaper reported over the weekend that Zanu-PF's chairperson Oppah Muchinguri, who also doubles as Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, said that the party would not seek Mugabe's help, as he was very old and needed to rest.

"He is retired and we respect him as our leader who led us for 37 years but we appreciate he needs to rest. It is unfair for us to expect a 94-year-old to campaign for us. We are content with the contributions he has already made," Muchinguri was quoted as saying.

She said the party was not worried over claims that Mugabe was backing a newly formed opposition party, saying "all this is circulating on social media and we cannot depend on hearsay".

Mugabe was reportedly backing a newly formed political outfit led by Ambrose Mutinhiri, a former brigadier, who quit the ruling Zanu-PF party recently and formed the New Patriotic Front (NPF) party.  

Mutinhiri resigned from parliament, citing the military intervention that pressured Mugabe into stepping down in November as his reason for cutting ties with Zanu-PF.

The development was said to have unsettled Zanu-PF, which accused the veteran politician of trying to destabilise the ruling party, and warned he could face the loss of his farms and even his pension benefits.

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Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  robert mugabe  |  oppah muchinguri  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  zimbabwe 2018 elections
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