Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said he may name a preferred candidate to replace him but his ruling Zanu-PF party will make the final decision.
The 93-year-old president disclosed this on Saturday, while speaking at a youth rally attended by thousands of supporters in Bindura, a farming town 90km north of capital Harare.
“I can have my own candidate, but that person must fight it out with other candidates at the congress,” Mugabe said.
It is being that his wife Grace Mugabe and vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa have been locked in an increasingly acrimonious fight over who will take over power.
“The constitution says the leader is chosen at the congress,” he said, adding that it would be unprecedented for the presidency to be handed over to an appointee without the ruling party’s input.
“We have never done it before that ... I will leave or give power to Mrs Mugabe, or Emmerson or Mphoko as my successor,” he said, referring to his wife, his first deputy Mnangagwa and his second vice-president Phelekezela Mphoko.
“I follow the regulations very strictly. I cannot leave my wife in power like they do in some French (-speaking) countries. We do not do that in Zanu-PF, we have a good history.” he said.