History will never forget President Robert Mugabe. He is one of Africa’s rare leaders that goes for anything he wants irrespective of public outcry, criticism and rancorous agitations.
Take it or leave it, he is one of Africa’s emboldened, ‘obstinate’ and indefatigable leaders. Mugabe is a news breaker and in most cases, he cares less about what Western countries or any other body thinks about his action.
Lately, he promised to lobby African heads to pull out of The United Nations (UN) if Africa is not granted permanent seats in the international organization.
Hours ago, during a traditional interview with State media on the eve of his birthday, 92-year-old Mugabe bluntly announced that he would vie for the post of president in the 2018 election.
The former liberation fighter was chosen in 2014 to lead his party for another five years, automatically becoming the ZANU-PF presidential candidate for Zimbabwe’s 2018 presidential election.
He would be 94 in the 2018 election and by the time he must have completed his five years in office, he would have turned 99!
Perhaps, you might be thinking right now that Mugabe will grow too old to lead. But, while the interview lasted, he told ZBC TV he wanted to live to be a 100 and that he is always fit because he still goes for daily morning exercise.
“I am happy because I am about to reach the age I want. You know the age I want to reach – 100 years. So only eight years remains.
The veteran leader also revealed that no one will succeed nor complete the tenure he started.
Some are talking of successor, why? I am still there. I did not go into the 2013 elections for someone to complete my five-year term which ends in 2018.
He also dismissed claims that his wide-mouthed wife Grace is warming up to take over from him. He asked, “Where has that happened (having a wife taking over from the husband as President)? Even in African culture, leaders left behind chose the successor.”
Mugabe also indicated he was aware of their schemes to use her just to get to power and later dump her. “There are even those saying go in first and I will take over — those are wild suggestions. A leader is elected properly by the congress. It is only the congress that chooses the next leader,” Mugabe added.
Speaking more about his wife, Mugabe described her as a “very mature” politician who can handle the heat of politics anytime. He affirmed that his 50-year-old wife had found herself in “rough waters”.
“Yes, it has proved to be rough waters but… she can cope with it. She’s a rough swimmer,” Mugabe told interviewer Tazzen Mandizvidza.
In Zimbabwe, many viewed Deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s heir-apparent having worked with Mugabe as his special assistant for more than five decades.
But, Grace Mugabe appears to be at loggerheads with him [Mnangagwa] after she was caught unleashing verbal attacks on him.
However, for any individual or group of individuals that wish to challenge him in 2018, he has this to tell the them: “You cannot come together just for the sake of regime change. If that is what they are up to, they are lost.”
Mugabe concluded by saying that his preferred successor must be “ideologically clear and untainted by corruption and scandals”.
“The person should be one that the party regards as having the qualities that leadership demands. First, to unite the people and to ensure that the people’s interests are carried out,” he said.