Mugabe Backed for Re-election
Mugabe Backed for Re-election Website
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party has endorsed Robert Mugabe as its candidate in the 2008 presidential election, opening the way for the 83-year old to extend his rule for another five years. All 10 provinces controlled by Zanu-PF backed the endorsement which had been expected after Mugabe said he was willing to seek another term as leader. The vote paves the way for the president, already the oldest leader in Africa, to seek a new five-year mandate at the end of which he would be nearly 90-years old. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Zanu-PF secretary for legal affairs, said moments before the motion was accepted on Thursday: "This congress is requested to declare Comrade Mugabe as candidate for the 2008 presidential election." Appetite for power Earlier, senior party officials praised Mugabe who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980. They described him as a distinguished revolutionary who defended the rights of Zimbabweans and Africans. They did not mention the widespread accusations at home and abroad that Mugabe's government has stifled political opposition, abused human rights and turned Zimbabwe's once prosperous economy into one of Africa's poorest. Mugabe had indicated in 2004 that he would step down when his current term of office expires. But he has since appeared to regain his full appetite for power despite the economic woes in his country where inflation is now the highest in the world at nearly 8,000 per cent per annum. In a speech before the uncontested endorsement of his candidature, Mugabe told his international critics to keep out of internal Zimbabwean affairs.