18 Dec 2016

Zimbabwe's Mugabe, 92, to stand again in 2018

8:29 pm on 18 December 2016

Zimbabwe's governing Zanu-PF party has confirmed President Robert Mugabe as its candidate for the 2018 elections.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe speaks at the party's annual conference on 17 December, 2016 in Masvingo.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe speaks at the party's annual conference on 17 December in Masvingo. Photo: AFP

Mr Mugabe, 92, has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980.

At the party's conference, the Zanu-PF youth wing even proposed that Mr Mugabe should be declared president for life.

However, there have been unprecedented protests this year against Zimbabwe's economic turmoil and Mr Mugabe's leadership.

The Zanu-PF has also suffered serious infighting as factions battle it out to succeed Mr Mugabe once he eventually leaves.

His supporters broke into thunderous applause and chanted "tongai, tongai baba" [rule, rule father] as the Zanu-PF annual conference in the south-eastern town of Masvingo nominated Mr Mugabe on Saturday.

'One family'

In his acceptance speech, Mr Mugabe called for an end to party infighting.

"We agreed that conflicts should end. Infighting should end. The party ideology should be followed," he said.

"Let us be one. We are one family, the family of Zanu-PF bound together by the fact of understanding between its members."

Mr Mugabe has blamed the country's economic problems on sabotage by Western critics of his policies.

Amid violent protests earlier this year he warned there would be no Zimbabwean uprising similar to the "Arab Spring".

- BBC

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