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Nearing 93, Robert Mugabe Shows No Sign Of Stepping Down

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Nearing 93, Robert Mugabe Shows No Sign Of Stepping Down

While the leader's birthday is Tuesday, a large celebration is scheduled for Saturday in tribute to Mr Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

He said: "The call to step down must come from my party, my party at congress, my party at central committee. The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, successor who to them is acceptable, as acceptable as I am", he said in comments to state media. "If I feel I can not do it any more, I will say so to my party so they relieve me".

If he wins the election, Mugabe may rule until at least age 99.

In September of the same year he read a speech to parliament apparently unaware that he had delivered exactly the same address a month earlier.

In the first of what will be a series of countrywide rallies, the first lady said Friday that Mugabe could be fielded in next year's election as a corpse.

In an interview with state television to be aired this week, Mugabe said he would only step down if the call came from his party, but that would not be any time soon because the party wanted him to stand as its candidate in the 2018 elections when his current tenure ends.

"This man is not going", said Mugabe.

"She is very acceptable". Mugabe faced unprecedented protests past year over the failing economy and fresh allegations of rights abuses.

President Mugabe cuts his birthday cake together with his son in law Simba Chikore his offices in Harare this morning.

The party was also attended by the two Vice Presidents, Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko and Cabinet ministers.

In 2009 he celebrated his 85th birthday with a lavish all-day party despite the fact that the country was then gripped by economic and health crises.

"Today's problems need today's people. At 93, you certainly belong to yesterday but one", wrote Luke Tamborinyoka.

According to Bloomberg News, Zimbabwe's economic output has halved since 2000 when many white-owned farms were seized by ZANU-PF supporters, leaving the key agricultural sector in ruins.

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