Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, on Thursday in Mazowe announced her candidacy to succeed her husband, 90-year-old President Robert Mugabe, when he leaves office, News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Lady Mugabe said, “People say I want to be president. Why not? Am I not a Zimbabwean?”
The 49-year-old lady said when addressing veterans of the country’s liberation struggle in Mazowe that there were Zimbabweans who could run the country and not President Mugabe’s Vice President. Joice Mujuru.
Mugabe said her husband’s deputy would take Zimbabwe back to where it was before independence.
Meanwhile, Mugabe called on the vice president, who was regarded as one of the top contenders to succeed him, to resign.
Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, has travelled several times for medical care abroad, sparking speculation that he could step down before his term ends in 2018.
Mugabe has however been appointed to head the women’s league of the ruling party, Zanu-PF.
The first lady’s political ambitions have faced resistance from Mujuru and others who participated in the liberation struggle against the white minority government of the then Rhodesia, today’s Zimbabwe, alongside Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe has also come under fire for a doctorate she obtained from the University of Zimbabwe in September, allegedly just months after she enrolled there.