Monday, July 08, 2013

(NEW ERA NM) Mugabe to retire ‘someday’
28 Jun 2013 - Story by Chrispin Inambao
Article Views (non-unique): 649

AT 89 years, President Robert Mugabe would be one of the world’s oldest presidential candidates when he squares off against his arch-rival, Morgan Tsvangirai for the keys to the State House in the coming elections.

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe told New Era in an exclusive interview he “will retire someday” on his own terms and not through any external plot involving his political rivals and the detractors of Zimbabwe, who want to effect ‘regime change’ in Zimbabwe.

The veteran leader was responding to a question by New Era in an exclusive interview on speculations that if his party wins the planned harmonised poll he will likely hand over power to a chosen successor within the party that was instrumental in the liberation of Zimbabwe. Other parties, apart from Zanu-PF, which are expected to contest the elections following the confirmation of a final date by the Constitutional Court in that country, are the two MDC formations - the MDC-T led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, as well as the MDC splinter group headed by Professor Arthur Mutambara.

“Well, I will retire someday, but I can’t say I’m going to an election in order to retire. People will say, ah, we can’t vote for your retirement, we are voting for you to rule. That will be decided as and when the situation demands. But you see, my brother, we had to demonstrate to the West that its not you who should instruct us to stand down, ha, regime change does not work,” said an exuberant Mugabe.

“Who are you to want our regime to change. So, it was mainly because of that, to demonstrate that and also to hold on, so my party could be together because sometimes when you get voices from Europe like that there are some people, in the party, who begin to worry, to shiver and so on and so forth. But we said no, we fought them yesterday you see, we can fight them again,” Mugabe said.

“We won’t collapse and we didn’t collapse we will remain and remain with the leadership they don’t want. That’s it… we were defiant. It was a defiance campaign in a way. But we will settle down and naturally we should allow power to transfer. But we must be assured that when we transfer that we are well united and we have in-built strength within the party,” explained the octogenarian leader.

Giving an overview on the political situation in Zimbabwe, Mugabe noted: “The political situation is good, its very peaceful and we have been telling our people to have peaceful elections without violence. But you see when people want to choose each other at the primary, primary level, oh there is a problem.”

He also accused Tsvangirai of ‘ignorance’ after the prime minister requested the Constitutional Court to disregard the application that was filed by Justice, Legal and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Patrick Chinamasa seeking to extend the poll dates in Zimbabwe from July 31 to August 14, 2013.

“I sympathise with his ignorance. He is an ignorant man. That’s not what a Prime Minister should do, that’s not what even the President should do. There are lawyers that can represent us if there is a point of dispute and the need to appeal on that point. There are lawyers that can do it for us. And, for a Prime Minister to do so, we don’t even want to talk about it, its disgraceful,” he stressed.

Both members of Zanu-PF and the MDC factions have issued statements saying there is a zero tolerance for political violence and that law-enforcement agents will deal with elements fuelling political violence irrespective of party affiliation.


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