Robert Mugabe marks 93rd birthday by saying he will run for office next year

President Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has described his wife Grace, an increasingly political figure, as “fireworks” in an interview marking his 93rd birthday.

While the leader’s birthday is today, a large celebration is scheduled for Saturday in tribute to Mr Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Mrs Mugabe has defended her husband against critics who say it is time for him to step down, saying the ruling party should field him as a corpse if he dies before elections next year.

In an interview shown late on Monday on state broadcaster ZBC, Mr Mugabe said the women’s wing of the ruling Zanu-PF party chose Grace Mugabe as its head because of her political ambitions.
Mr Mugabe also repeated his pledge to stand in elections in 2018.

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