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Mugabe Quashes Succession Talks Ahead of Ruling Party Conference

President Robert Mugabe has complained that the many candidates to take up his job at such time as he departs are "waiting at the door like a witch."

A report in the state-controlled Herald paper said Mr. Mugabe told an audience at Catholic University in Harare last week that some African countries have as many as 30 candidates for president "and we don't want it that way."

Political analysts said Mugabe’s criticism of presidential hopefuls is meant to keep the succession question off the agenda of the Zanu-PF National Conference next month.

Political analyst Sydney Masamvu of the International Crisis Group’s Southern African office told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Mugabe is under increasing pressure within the party to address this vexed question.

For a perspective from the ruling party, Zulu spoke with William Nhara, principal director of public and interactive affairs in Mr. Mugabe’s office, who said it is early days yet to be discussing the succession to the 82-year-old president.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...