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93 Year-old Mugabe to Start Presidential Election Campaign

FILE - Zimbabwe's President Robert Gabriel Mugabe closes his eyes during the Africa Union meeting in Sirte, Libya, July 4, 2005.

Zimbabwe’s 93 year-old president Robert Mugabe is expected to hit the campaign trail this week as the country prepares for crucial elections in 2018.

According to NewsDay newspaper, Mr. Mugabe’s election campaign is being spearheaded by party youth and not war veterans, widely seen to be aligning with a Zanu PF faction said to be led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who allegedly harbors presidential ambitions.

The newspaper quoted several members of the party’s Youth League who confirmed that they are currently preparing for the nationwide rallies.

Zanu PF Youth League political commissar, Innocent Hamandishe, said, “Instead of organising a million-man march, the league has decided that we will take the president to the provinces.”

Mr. Mugabe, who has been in power for more than 37 years and is facing some nagging health issues, will be the oldest ever presidential candidate at 94 next year to run in a national presidential poll.

Zanu PF is gripped by factionalism pitting Mnangagwa and another group said to be led by the president’s wife, Grace Mugabe, who allegedly wants to succeed her husband.

Mnangagwa and Mrs. Mugabe have in the past dismissed reports that they want to succeed the Zimbabwean leader.

Zimbabwe is currently facing serious cash shortages due to diminished foreign direct investment, lack of capital to revamp companies, subdued production and related issues.

Opposition parties are in the process of crafting coalition designed to unseat Zanu PF.

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