The long-ruling president of Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, made a short confession to a question thrown at him by a journalist during an interview to mark his 92nd birthday.
The question was about who could take over from him as he turns a new age. The Zimbabwean’s president didn’t leave the answer to chance as he gave it a shot.
The state-owned Herald newspaper quotes him as saying.
Why do you want a successor? You want me to hit you so that you fall down for you to feel that I’m still here?.
President Mugabe made it known to the media that he’s not going to retire in the middle of this term, which started in 2013.
He queried the curious journalist:
Why would I accept the office if I had an ailment or I am sick or I can’t do it?
President Mugabe has been in power since 1980 – which means that Mr. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwean for about 36 years. He is as of yet, Africa’s oldest leader, having taken over power from Canaan Banana in 1987.
But he isn’t ready to hand over power. His succession has caused prolonged conflict between politicians with interests in Zimbabwe and this has placed his ruling ZANU-PF at the risk of being torn apart.
The president is still holding the government firmly. He seems to have no plans of stepping down any time soon. He, at one time, remarked wittily that he would rule until he turns 100.
Wikileaks had claimed that Mr. Mugabe might have prostate cancer – which he denied. It however caused many Zimbabweans to stay abreast of the health updates of president Mugabe who think he might consider his health and drop power.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon had called on African leaders not to hold tightly onto power at a summit last two month, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe responded by saying he would continue “until God says ‘come’.”
The remark simply indicates that the president will probably not quit power as long as he lives. Many fear the government could crash and the country ruptured by instability if he dies without putting to an end the succession problem.
However, the president shows no indication of dying or becoming incapacitated anytime soon. He says he is still strong and healthy enough to head the country until his creator says its over.
There are many strong oppositions and even members of his own coalition have voiced their frustration with the length of his leadership. Mr. Mugabe has received lots of backlashes and criticisms in the recent times.
In the face of all the castigation, the president still feels strong running the daily activities of his government, takes trips abroad, presides over graduations at all state universities and military passing-out parades.