Zimbabwe’s Mugabe laments indiscipline in divided ruling party
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe Friday denounced indiscipline among members of his ruling ZANU-PF calling for his retirement and urged an end to factional feuding threatening to tear the party apart.
“Some say ‘we no longer want Mr Mugabe.’ If you don’t like him what do you do then if the majority of the party still loves him?” Mugabe said at the opening of his party’s annual conference in Masvingo, 300km (186 miles) south-east of the capital Harare.
Mugabe, 92, has been in power since independence from British colonial rule in 1980 has avoided naming a successor or laying out plans to retire.
He once joked that he would rule until he turned 100.
The absence of a clear successor has sparked infighting including verbal exchanges on social media in recent weeks between factions angling for his position.
“As a party we must always speak with one voice and to our leaders, we do not run or organise matters of the party or settle our grievances through Twitter and Facebook,” Mugabe told the conference attended by thousands of party representatives from the country’s 10 provinces.
“There are organs which follow rules and procedures of how things should be done and no one person should stand up and say ‘I want things done this way’”.
On Wednesday, the elderly leader spoke out against infighting among officials lining themselves up to succeed him.
In 2014, Mugabe expelled his deputy Joice Mujuru after Mugabe’s wife Grace launched a campaign against the former vice-president, accusing her of instigating factional fighting and plotting to topple the veteran ruler.
Mujuru denied the charges and formed her own party, along with other ZANU-PF former members.
Mugabe’s deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa has been named the leader of a faction seeking to succeed Mugabe.
Another faction, named Generation 40 or G40 because its members are generally young, reportedly has the backing of Mugabe’s wife Grace.
The conference which runs until Saturday is expected to once again endorse Mugabe as presidential candidate.