Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has said he would not impose his successor and that if the ruling ZANU-PF party felt he should retire, it would hold an extraordinary congress to choose a new leader.
The world’s oldest leader, who turned 93 this week, has maintained a tight grip on power in Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980. He is due to stand for re-election next year and says ZANU-PF has no viable alternative candidates. Mugabe was joined by thousands of supporters to celebrate his birthday at a school in Matobo just outside the second biggest city Bulawayo.
“Others are saying ‘President, choose a successor before you retire’. Is that not imposition? Me imposing someone on the party? No, I don’t want that,” Mugabe said.
“This is an issue for the congress to choose. We can have an extraordinary congress if the president retires but you said I should be your candidate in the next election.”