ZIMBABWE – Last year, the veteran leader celebrated his 91st birthday with a big party with eight huge cakes.
He hosted a huge party at Victoria Falls that was estimated to have cost $1 million.
There was a little sign of disapproval at Mugabe’s party when 91 cows and two elephants were on the menu.
The longtime leader trained as a teacher and taught in what was then Rhodesia and Ghana before returning home to join the guerrilla war against white minority rule.
He has been president since the country gained independence from Britain in 1987.
Mugabe has said he will stay in his post “until God says ‘come,’” and has thus far made no clear indication as to his preferred candidate for succession.
MUGABE WARNS PARTY MEMBERS FIGHTING OVER HIS SUCCESSION
The president yesterday threatened to discipline ruling party members he accuses of fanning divisions over who will succeed him.
In a 30-minute speech broadcast on state-owned ZBC TV late on Friday, he said he was disturbed by “dog fights” and insults among senior officials of the ruling Zanu-PF party, who are divided over who should succeed him.
Mugabe argued that Zanu-PF will choose his successor. But he plans to contest the next election in 2018 aged 94, seeking his last five-year term under a new constitution that would see him through to 99.
His life presidency aspirations are frustrating the feuding factions of Zanu-PF, who have been trying for years to position themselves for a post-Mugabe political era.
Allies of Vice President Mnangagwa and a group of senior Zanu-PF officials, labelled G-40 by local media, have been denouncing each other in public.
The Mnangagwa faction said Mugabe should retire and Mnangagwa should succeed him. G-40 is rallying behind Mugabe’s wife Grace, but says Mugabe should be allowed to die in office.
After the president’s long rule some people fear the government could be paralysed and the country riven by instability if he dies without resolving the succession issue.