President Robert Mugabe has promised the people of Zimbabwe that he would not impose his successor.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark his 93rd birthday, the world’s oldest ruler, said if the ruling ZANU-PF party felt he should retire, it would hold an extraordinary congress to choose a new leader.
According to reports, some people have asked the president to choose a successor before retiring.
“Others are saying ‘President, choose a successor before you retire,” Mugabe said.
“Is that not imposition, me imposing someone on the party? No, I don’t want that.
“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.”
Critics believe Mugabe’s policies, like the seizure of white-owned farms for blacks and his black economic empowerment drive have ruined the once promising country.
Mugabe, who is due to stand for re-election next year, had claimed that he had no “acceptable successor” hence, he would not give up power.
He attributed his long life to what he said was God’s mission to “fulfill the needs and demands” of Zimbabweans.
“I thank the Lord and say I accept the mission my Lord,” he said.
Mugabe said he only had one sister left and missed his siblings, adding that, “when I look back I say aah, oh Lord, why were these taken before me and why have I remained so long, alone and alive. I cannot answer that.”
Mugabe has been the president of Zimbabwe since the country’s independence from Britain in 1980.