President Robert Mugabe is tired of office and would have retired were it not for the mess in which his party is, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has revealed.
The MDC-T leader told thousands of his supporters at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru on Sunday Mugabe had confided in him that his heart was telling him to go but he was afraid if he did, Zanu PF would disintegrate.
The Prime Minister also hinted the President told him other than the fear factionalism would tear his party apart if he retired, the old leader was being held to ransom to remain in office.
Tsvangirai said the President was in dire need of help, adding that age was catching up with him as exposed by the gaffes he made at the Sadc summit in Johannesburg on June 12.
“I warned him and he wants out,” Tsvangirai said.
“I don’t know whether it is fear, but he is old. He needs help from young people like me. He is just old,” said Tsvangirai.
“President Mugabe was asked to present at the Sadc Summit and said he wanted to thank (former South African President Nelson) Mandela (instead of President Jacob Zuma). He is just old,” said Tsvangirai.
President Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba could not be reached for comment, but Zanu PF officials dismissed Tsvangirai’s statements as a figment of the Premier’s imagination.
“I think it’s from his head,” said Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo.
“I have not heard anything of that sort, and in fact, the President has always ably led us. Although it was supposed to be a conversation between two people, as far as the party is concerned it’s hogwash.”
Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said President Mugabe would never confide in Tsvangirai, adding that his boss was still fit.
“When did Tsvangirai become the President’s spokesperson?” Mutasa asked. “Only Charamba, his spokesman, Gumbo, the Zanu PF spokesman, or myself can speak about the President,” said Mutasa.
“There is nothing like that (Mugabe wanting to rest), if there was he would have told us. He is in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) as we are talking now. Is that the behaviour of a tired person?”