Mugabe axes traditional birthday interview

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will not do his traditional birthday interview – at least for another week, the presidency confirmed Thursday.

Not talking as wife attacks his deputy ... President Robert Mugabe

Not talking as wife attacks his deputy … President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe axes traditional birthday interview

Mugabe turns 92 on Sunday and has traditionally given a wide-ranging interview to State media on the eve of his birthday.

Not this time, said presidential spokesman George Charamba.

The development comes at a time the veteran leader has remained mum as his ruling Zanu PF party is torn by divisions over his succession.

After a politburo meeting that appeared to have calmed tempers last week, Mugabe’s wife Grace staged a rally which she used to brutally attack vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Grace, backed by a party faction to take over after her husband, effectively accused Mnangagwa of plotting a coup.

And on Thursday, war veterans said to be fighting in Mnangagwa’s corner, were teargassed and beaten by riot police as they tried to gather for a rally in Harare.

Mugabe would, likely, have been asked about the growing party divisions in the interview.

Charamba however, said the Zanu PF leader was currently too busy.

“Owing to the President’s congested programme, the high profile visits as well as preparations towards the 92nd birthday anniversary celebrations in Masvingo, President Mugabe has not been able to find time to do the traditional interview which comes on the eve of his actual birthday.

“He has agreed to have the interview soon after the commemorations.

“The interview will come after Masvingo and will allow the President to reflect on his life and contemporary developments,” Charamba told state media.

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