I won't be pushed out of office, says Mugabe, 93
HARARE - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabeon Thursday remained adamant that he would remain in office despite worsening cash and fuel shortages that have hit the southern African country.
Officiating at the funeral of the widow of former vice president Joseph Msika at the national shrine in Harare, Mugabe said the "artificial shortages" were being created by unnamed senior officials of his government, who were bent on removing him from office.
The 93 year-old leader vowed that he would continue as president.
"We have people who are like the biblical Judas Iscariot within our government who created these shortages to advance their agenda of removing the president from office," said Mugabe speaking in Shona language.
"I want to tell them today that I will not be pushed out of office because I am representing the interests of the people who elected me into office, therefore, I will continue to occupy the presidential seat that I am occupying comfortably."
But former Zanu-PF provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West, Themba Mliswa, now an independent legislator representing Norton constituency, told News24 that the nonagenarian should not focus on remaining in office but on issues that he was elected to deal with.
"There is massive unemployment in the country, there is rampant corruption in all government institutions let alone cash shortages, and the economy is in limbo. Those are the issues that he should be talking because there is no doubt that he will be the president of Zimbabwe until we hold fresh elections in 2018," said Mliswa.
On his return this week from the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, Mugabe accused his unnamed lieutenants of plotting the shortages, that resulted in most Zimbabweans engaging a panic mode gear and emptying shop shelves.
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party was sharply divided into distinct factions battling to outwit each other in the race to succeed him. One camp calling itself "Team Lacoste" was reportedly led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa while another faction made up of young Turks pushing First Lady Grace Mugabe, was seeking to torpedo Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Sydney Sekeramayi's name was recently thrown into the succession race by Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo. However, Mnangagwa, Sekeramayi and the First Lady, have denied harbouring presidential ambitions saying they solidly behind Mugabe.