Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe will turn 93 years old on Tuesday, February 21.
Despite his advanced age, the leader is still clinging to power and will be the sole candidate vying for presidency under the ZANU-PF ticket come 2018.
Mugabe has ruled the southern African country since independence from white- minority rule in 1980.
He has previously said he wants to live until 100 and rule for life. He commands unrivaled support in ZANU-PF which is grappling with factional fights as party officials jostle for influence in a post-Mugabe era.
Despite rumours circulating about his health and at one point in September, there were some about his death, Mugabe has continued to surprise many as he still enjoys somewhat robust health .
Mugabe scoffed at the death rumours by saying, “yes I was dead. It is true I was dead. I resurrected as I always do once I get back to my country, I am real again.”
His reign has been characterised by controversy and the southern Africa country continues to face economic crisis, triggering protests. The recent introduction of bond notes has done little to assuage many Zimbabweans who fear they will go the way of the Zimbabwe dollar that triggered hyperinflation in 2009.
The ruling ZANU-PF plans to hold a $2.5 million birthday party for the leader on February 25, plans that have been criticised by the opposition.
Mugabe’s 51 year old wife, Grace Mugabe, said on Friday that even a dead Mugabe could still stand in next year’s polls. Grace has assumed an increasingly high profile and whether she is being groomed as his successor, only time will tell.