Agencies | 20 February 2017
The wife of 92-year-old Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said Friday that he would be the voters’ choice even after he dies, as she addressed supporters from the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Grace Mugabe, who has been touted as a successor to her ailing husband, ratcheted up her colorful rhetoric ahead of the election due next year.
“One day when God decides that Mugabe dies, we will have his corpse appear as a candidate on the ballot paper,” Grace Mugabe told a party rally in Buhera, southeast of Harare.
“You will see people voting for Mugabe as a corpse. I am seriously telling you — just to show people how people love their president.”
President Mugabe has vowed to stand again in the election, but Grace could run if he dies before the vote.
Grace Mugabe, who was appointed leader of ZANU-PF’s women’s wing in a surprise move two years ago, is well known for her fiery speeches and verbal attacks on opponents.
In 2015, she led a campaign which led to the ousting of Deputy President Joice Mujuru.
President Mugabe, the world’s oldest national leader, turns 93 on Tuesday, with a celebration party planned for Saturday.
Grace has previously pledged to push Mugabe in his wheelchair to election rallies if needed.
Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, has avoided naming a successor and his party is divided between factions jostling to succeed him.
Grace bemoaned the infighting, telling those seeking to succeed her husband: “Let’s not fool each other, let’s wait for God’s time.”