"Wife of Zimbabwe’s leader tells Mugabe to name successor" Associated Press July 27, 2017
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s first lady publicly urged her 93-year-old husband on Thursday to name a successor, wading into a subject that President Robert Mugabe has regarded as taboo.
Grace Mugabe, whose political influence has been growing, previously said the world’s oldest head of state could rule from the grave. ‘‘If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse’’ in the 2018 election, she said early this year.
Doesn't everybody? The politicians are all dead on the inside.
But in comments shown by state broadcaster ZBC, Grace Mugabe said Thursday that she had been arguing with him about naming a successor: ‘‘He says no, no, no.’’
With her husband in attendance, she told members of the ruling ZANU-PF party women’s league: ‘‘I am asking him now in front of you. . . . You, president, don’t be afraid. Tell us your choice, which horse should we back. Because we respect him, his word will be final.’’ The audience cheered, though the president’s response was not immediately clear.
Robert Mugabe, who has led the southern African nation since 1980, has started campaigning for next year’s vote. He has repeatedly said he will not choose a successor.
The 52-year-old Grace Mugabe, who heads the ZANU-PF women’s league, has become increasingly powerful. Her decisions have carried more weight at times than those of the country’s vice presidents.
While Mugabe is seen as a potential successor to her husband, she has sent mixed signals. She has said she has no problem becoming president but on other occasions has said she has no such ambitions.
Also see: The Queen of Zimbabwe