By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, May 25, 2016 – PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe says he will not give up power anytime soon, adding he will not listen to the opposition and outsiders wanting him to give up a job he has held for 36 years.
He was addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters who gathered at the civic grounds in Harare’s Rotten Row area for the so-called One million man march organised by the party youth league to express support for his leadership.
Mugabe boldly declared he will not bow down to opposition calls for him to stand down saying only Zanu PF supporters can tell him to retire.
“The opposition parties were saying people must ask Mugabe to go, ndogoenda kupi (Where do I go)?
“I belong to my people. If my people say stay there, I stay. I don’t like to be a Briton, I don’t want to be American. I am not a Yankee.
“I told Blair (former British Prime Minister) to keep his England so I can keep my Zimbabwe,” said Mugabe.
The 92-year-old leader as usual, blamed foreigners to stop calling on a Zimbabwean to retire, adding those who want him to go should “go hang”.
“The outsiders want me to retire. Why do they want me to retire? Vanhu vangu ndovanoti retire (It is my people who should tell me to retire).
“Itsisti here kuti vaMugabe vaende kana Kutya vaMugabe (Is it out of pity that they want Mugabe to go or it is out of fear). Tell the papers that Mugabe said you go hand. Hang yourselves!” Mugabe said.
The veteran leader all but put to rest the current debate surrounding his succession saying as long as he felt he was still serving his country well.
“As long as I feel I can serve my people and doing my best as I have done in the past, I am there. Saka hapana kwandinoenda (I am going nowhere),” Mugabe said to deafening applause from his followers.
Addressing the crowd earlier on, the First Lady, Grace Mugabe said Mugabe was so valuable to Zimbabweans that he will still rule from his grave at the Heroes Acre when he dies one day.
“We support you baba. What brother Kudzi (Kudzai Chipanga, Zanu PF youth league deputy chair) said that we support you in 2018.
“Some say they want you to be life president. To some of us, you are irreplaceable Mr President. We say we love you. We will make you President in the grave, because we see you make things happen,” said Mugabe’s 51-year-old Zanu PF women’s league boss while speaking in Shona.
Mugabe also spoke strongly against factionalism and accused some party big-wigs of peddling falsehoods through privately-owned papers which he described as “nonsense” and urged that to stop.