Movement for Democratic Change organising secretary Nelson Chamisa said the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Robert Mugabe’s age was a national security threat because if he died in office this would spark a bitter power struggle that could destabilise the whole country.
According to the British newspaper, The Telegraph, Mugabe’s lieutenants were so scared that the party was using Mugabe’s pictures of the 1980s because they were concerned that his age might be a liability.
Mugabe is 89, and is currently the oldest leader in Africa but he ranks fifth amongst the longest serving African leaders.
“Even if you go to get an identification card they won’t ask for your picture of years ago, they want the current picture,” Chamisa is reported to have told party supporters in Gweru. “If one uses his picture of 1980, people might not even recognise him if they are to meet him today, this is fraud and a show of loss of confidence.”
Chamisa said Mugabe’s lieutenants were “in love with the Mugabe of the 1980s but not the Mugabe of today. I don’t think they want to be associated with the Mugabe of today”.