I never wanted to lead Zimbabwe – Mugabe
25 February 2015, 18:50
Cape Town – Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe says he never wanted to be president - despite the fact that the nonagenarian continues to cling to power, almost 35 years after Zimbabwe attained its independence, according to a report.
Mugabe, who turned 91 on 21 February made the claim during a birthday party - the first of many - hosted by civil servants at his Harare office, New Zimbabwe.com said.
"I never joined the struggle because I wanted one day to be prime minister, no, but I joined the struggle to play my part as prescribed by the party," Mugabe was quoted by as saying.
Mugabe said he believed - even during the time when he participated in the country's independence struggle - that a president could only be appointed by the people.
Mugabe over the past years has, however, tightened his grip on power and indicated he doesn't tolerate talk about his succession.
The veteran leader recently expelled his Zanu-PF party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo on spot during a politburo meeting after suggesting that the December 2014 congress should clarify the issue of succession.
Also see: WATCH: Robert Mugabe falls down steps in Harare
The veteran leader also fired his deputy, Joice Mujuru from government and reduced her to an ordinary Zanu-PF memberfor allegedly plotting to topple the veteran leader.
Opponents from outside his Zanu-PF party who try to challenge him through elections are often subjected to violent putdowns while his government is accused of carrying out vote fraud to ensure he stays in power.
Mugabe's official birthday bash is set for this Saturday.
At least 20 000 people are expected to attend.