I wanted Sekeramayi to succeed me: Mugabe

HARARE - Former President Robert Mugabe has said that he wanted former Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi to take over from him as leader of both Zanu PF and the State.

Mugabe, who held a press conference at his Borrowdale home yesterday, said Sekeramayi, and not his wife Grace, was always his preferred choice.

“Zanu PF which I led had planned to have an extraordinary congress in December and at this congress I was going to resign and open our system so those who wanted to compete for leadership of the country and then the leadership of the country would do so.

“I also at that congress, even though I would have resigned, would have supported a candidate I had in mind. The candidate I had in mind all the time was Dr (Sydney) Sekeramayi. When Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, asked me who I wanted to take over after me I said I think Dr Sekeramayi will be my choice,” said Mugabe.

The long-time leader of Zimbabwe said Sekeramayi had agreed to take over from him.

“I had talked to Sekeramayi and he had said ‘fine’ but he was surprised. But I was going to argue at that congress that it choose him. Yes ED could also have argued that he deserved to be chosen and am sure they would have competed at that congress. Well that did not happen.

“So all the talk, all the nonsense that you hear that the president wanted to leave his wife as a presidential candidate after resignation; all that nonsense that Comrade Shiri, Perrance Shiri told the Tanzanians that we took that action because the president wanted to leave his wife in a position of leadership was utter nonsense. So hear from me, this was my intention,” said the former Zimbabwe leader.

The military intervention that swept Mugabe from power led by Retired-General Constantino Chiwenga took place a month before the planned Zanu PF extraordinary congress.