Robert Mugabe Threatens To Punch Journalist During Interview


Bizarre footage has shown Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe threatening to punch a reporter during an interview.

When the 92-year-old was asked about retirement plans and who would succeed him, he responded: "Why 'successor' when I am still there? Why do you want a successor?

"Do you want me to punch you to the floor to realise I am still there?"

Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since the country was formed in 1980, says he has no plans to hand over power and ruled out grooming his politically ambitious wife, Grace, as his chosen successor.

According to the Associated Press, he asked: "Grooming a successor, is it an inheritance?”

"In a democratic party you don't want leaders appointed that way. They have to be appointed properly by the people. Succession is not part of our culture."

Mugabe turned 92 on on 21 February amid fierce squabbling in the ruling ZANU-PF party in anticipation of his succession.

Still, he defended his wife's entry into politics and criticised those who have spoken out against her.

On Thursday, spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo of the ruling ZANU-PF party announced the suspension from the party of Cabinet Minister Chris Mutsvangwa and several other officials on allegations of disrespecting the First Lady.

In the interview, Mugabe said mining companies recently kicked out of Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe "robbed us of our wealth," claiming billions of dollars were siphoned in gem smuggling.

Some of the firms have gone to court challenging the order for them to leave the diamond-rich area.

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