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Vol 40 No 12

Published 11th June 1999


Where's the door?

Beleaguered President Mugabe is fighting pressure for him to retire

President Robert Mugabe may not after all be heading for a speedy retirement, although he was 75 in February and has held power since April 1980. Speculation about his early retirement got going at the time of his birthday, when the independent media said he would stand for the leadership of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front at this year's party congress in December but retire as national President to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Independence next year. The newspapers said he would step down on 18 April, leaving his deputy to run the government, but that he would remain party leader in order to supervise the 2002 presidential election. Two men were even tipped to succeed him: the present Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, and past Security Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, now Minister of Legal Affairs.

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