Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Saturday that he has no intention of retiring, saying doing so would be an act of “cowardice.”
“Sometimes the call comes [to retire]. It will be wrong, completely wrong when the West is keeping us under sanctions. It would be an act of cowardice, I am not a coward, no matter what the West might say,” Mugabe told over 4 000 Zanu-PF supporters as he closed the ruling party’s annual conference.
“I am lucky that God has given me longer years than others to be with you. I will not let you down,” he added.
Mugabe who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 bemoaned factionalism in his Zanu-PF party, calling on his supporters to unite to win elections next year.
“All the provinces have factions, there is none without factions. I don’t want to mention names here,”he said.
Mugabe again called for elections in 2012 saying his current coalition government with his rivalMorgan Tsvangirai as prime minister is unworkable.
“That is why we are saying that that this creature [unity government], this inclusive government must now see its death. It must come to an end, and we must dig its grave,” Mugabe said.
“Let us now start preparing for elections.”
The veteran leader, who will turn 88 next year, thanked his supporters for endorsing him as their candidate for the upcoming election, for which no date has been set.
“I will try my best to continue to work as vigorously as I have done”, he assured them.