Zim opposition parties mock Mugabe over 'popularity' claims

2016-03-31 14:13
Robert Mugabe. (Jekesai Njiklzana, AFP)

Robert Mugabe. (Jekesai Njiklzana, AFP)

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Harare - President Robert Mugabe's claim that Zimbabweans didn't want him to leave office has been mocked by his political opponents, reports said on Thursday.  

According to New Zimbabwe, the southern African country's opposition parties ridiculed the claims, saying the veteran leader had "overstayed" his welcome.

Mugabe, 92, reportedly made the claims while he was on a state visit in Japan.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Mugabe said that Zimbabweans would be upset if anyone told them that he should step down.

"…You just go to Zimbabwe now and ask the people whether I should stand down, they will be angry with you," Mugabe was quoted as saying.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party spokesperson Obert Gutu said the nonagenarian’s claim was due to "flattering" comments made by his allies who had benefited from his "patronage".

"It is quite possible that a few Zanu-PF sycophants might be misleading him into believing that the people of Zimbabwe still want him to hang on as president. The brutal truth, however, is that these sycophants are lying to him," Gutu said.

The privately owned NewsDay quoted People's Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume as saying that Mugabe's claims were "ironic" as he was bragging about retaining power "illegitimately".

"The man has been in power through brutality and inhuman and degrading treatment of opponents in the country. There is nothing he and his party won't do to remain in power," Mafume said.

Mugabe has been in power for more than three decades. He has, over the years, seen the southern African country's economy sliding down after his government was sanctioned by the West following his controversial land reform policies.

Read more on:    mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  robert ­mugabe  |  obert gutu  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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