Robert Mugabe vows to fight like 'wounded beast' in next year's Zimbabwean elections
Zimbabwe's long-serving President Robert Mugabe has vowed to fight like a 'wounded beast' to retain power in elections due next year.
Mugabe's pledge comes after his party formally endorsed him on Saturday as candidate despite his advanced age and reports of ill health.
Mugabe, who will turn 89 next February, has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980, but denied he has been receiving treatment for prostate cancer in Singapore over the last two years.
According to news24, closing a two-day Zanu-PF annual conference that as expected named him as its top candidate for a presidential and parliamentary poll that will be held by next September, Mugabe urged his party to overcome the rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The veteran leader, who now shares power with Tsvangirai in an uneasy coalition following a disputed election in 2008 which was marred by violence blamed on Zanu-PF militants, said Zanu-PF had nearly lost power by under-estimating its rivals, the report said.
"We are now like a wounded beast, and lets fight back and win all our power back," he said to a cheering 5 000-strong crowd.
"We must mobilise ourselves for a resounding outcome, and the year 2013 will be the year of electoral success," he added.
But Mugabe said Zanu-PF should win next year's vote on its nationalist policies, urging party supporters to avoid violence.
"We do not have to take up spears. Let our policies be our weapons," he said.