Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe turns 93 with lavish birthday party


"Just contrast this misappropriation of resources to what Tanzania's President John Magufuli did, even cancelling an important event as independence celebrations, and allocating the money to issues such as ensuring access to health for the people", he said.

Mr Mugabe also repeated his pledge to stand in elections in 2018 despite calls from some Zimbabweans for him to quit amid economic turmoil in the once-prosperous country and numerous allegations about human rights and election irregularities.

Former Finance Minister and now leader of the opposition People's Democratic party Tendai Biti has warned that president Robert Mugabe's unwillingness to groom a success as well as Zanu-PF's escalating tribal factional and successions wars could plunge the country into civil war. "I have actually asked again and again that why not have euros, yuan and rand alongside the dollar and they keep on saying we will do it".

In an interview marking his birthday that was shown late Monday on state broadcaster ZBC, Mugabe noted that his wife's remarks were shown on television.

"The call to step down must come from my party..." "If I feel I can not do it any more, I will say so to my party so they relieve me".

Mugabe, the world's oldest non-royal serving head of state, has slammed the European Union and the U.S for imposing heavy sanctions on Zimbabwe's faltering economy. "But for now, I think I can't say so", he said.

Last month it was Julius Malema.

President Mugabe clocked 93-years on Tuesday but there was only a low key celebration at the presidency as the main event was pushed to Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Matopos, 500 km (350 miles) southwest of the capital, Harare.

"The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, a successor who to them is acceptable", Mugabe added.

In the interview with state media, Mugabe also described his wife Grace, an increasingly political figure, as "fireworks" because of her feisty remarks in his defense.

Another leading candidate is Mugabe's vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

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.