- Robert Mugabe and heir-apparent Emmerson Mnangagwa (right).
Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, who turned 93 on Tuesday, has scoffed at calls for him to step down on account of his age and poor health, saying no one is fit to succeed him as president.
“The majority of the people feel there’s no replacement, there’s no successor who’s as acceptable as I am. They want to judge everyone (using) president Mugabe as the criteria,” said Mugabe, who looked tired and sleepy during a television interview on the state propaganda channel ZBC Monday.
Mugabe was enraged when interviewer Tazzen Mandizvidza, a member of an opposing ruling Zanu PF faction led by vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, asked what he thought about Julius Malema’s comments that he was too old to be president.
“Who is Julius Malema?” fumed Mugabe. “The call to step down must come from my party. They want me to stand for elections and it’s a voice I heed. Of course if I feel I can’t do it anymore I’ll say so to my party so that they relieve me but for now I can’t say so. Even when I feel I want to rest but that volume of wishes for the president to stand…the number of people who’ll be disappointed is galore and I don’t want to disappoint them.”
There are growing calls, however, for Mugabe, in power since 1980 independence from Britain to give up power. Mugabe has routinely rigged elections and silenced internal Zanu PF party critics through murder and expulsions.
Analysts, however, believe Mugabe could be living his last days as president due to deep divisions within Zanu PF. The dictator has lost the support of the military and intelligence services who back Mnangagwa.
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