Zimbabwe’s Mugabe ‘tired of ruling’
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe reportedly told a former minister in his government that he wants to retire but fears his party would disintegrate, an independent weekly said on Sunday.
"From what we discussed, Mugabe said he is tired and wants to retire but he cannot do so now because ZANU-PF would die," Enos Nkala, a former minister of defence in Mugabe's late-1980s government, told The Standard newspaper after meeting with the 88-year-old president on Friday.
"He cannot leave when the party is in such a state. What is holding him now is managing and containing ZANU-PF to prevent it from disintegrating," Nkala added.
Mugabe's spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on Nkala's statements.
Nkala, who has been a staunch critic of Mugabe in recent years, met with him privately for an hour in Bulawayo, 430 kilometres (270 miles) southwest of the capital Harare, The Standard said.
Nkala warned that Mugabe's succession remains a delicate issue that if not handled carefully might result in "chaos or civil war".
"It's easy for people to say Mugabe must go, Mugabe must go, but most don't know that he is the glue that has been holding this country together," he said.
AFP news agency reported that Mugabe, who has ruled the southern African country since independence in 1980, has already been endorsed by his party to stand as a candidate in the country’s next general election.