Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the world’s oldest national ruler, turned 93 Today and vowed to remain in power despite growing signs of frailty and failing health due to age.
He will celebrate with his staff in a private ceremony in Harare while supporters use state media to send their annual gushing messages of goodwill and congratulations.
Mugabe has ruled out any prospect of retiring soon, saying that ZANU-PF officials believe there is no “acceptable” alternative.
“The call to step down must come from my party… In such circumstances I will step down,” the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper quoted Mugabe as saying in an interview aired late Monday.
“They want me to stand for elections… If I feel that I can’t do it anymore, I will say so to my party so that they relieve me. But for now, I think I can’t say so,” he said.
“The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, a successor who to them is acceptable,” Mugabe added.
The veteran leader came to power when Zimbabwe won independence in 1980 and his rule has been criticised for ruthless repression of dissent, election rigging, and for causing the country’s economic collapse.
Source; The Guardian