HARARE – The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has criticised a well known Zimbabwean apostle, Ezekiel Guti, over remarks he made that President Robert Mugabe, 91, was fit enough to continue leading the country, despite his age.

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mugabe

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Guti, who according to The Herald spoke on the sidelines of his ministry’s 55th anniversary on Sunday, said age could not be used to determine one’s ability to lead.

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“People think what they think, so long as a man stays healthy, he can do it. The president can continue so long as he can feel that he can do it and he has strength to do so,” Guti was quoted as saying.

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But, speaking to News24, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu rubbished Guti’s remarks, saying Mugabe was in fact “too old to lead Zimbabwe”.

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Economic hardships

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“It is misdirected for a religious leader to argue that advanced age does not prevent anyone from carrying out the honours and duty of running a country. As the MDC, we maintain that Robert Mugabe is too old to lead Zimbabwe,” Gutu told News24.

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Mugabe is the only leader independent Zimbabwe has ever known, having been in power since 1980.

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At 91, many feel the veteran leader should step down and pave the way for new blood to rule the country, which is currently reeling under economic hardships.

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In February this year, Mugabe made headlines when he stumbled and fell on his hands and knees at the Harare International Airport. Many saw this as evidence that the nonagenarian should quit and end the uncertainty over his successor.

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Religious tolerance

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“He [Guti] should appreciate that at the age of 91, Mugabe is not only too old to lead Zimbabwe but apparently he also has a failing health and would do Zimbabwe a big favour by retiring,” said Gutu.

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Gutu urged Guti to stay out of politics, saying church leaders were not to be seen as political activists.

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“We [MDC] are a party that is God-fearing and we respect the religions of all people. We believe in religious tolerance. We would like to urge leaders of religious groups to pray for Zimbabwe and avoid being partisan… If they take sides they risk discrediting themselves,” said Gutu.

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“We respect Guti as a religious leader and we would be very happy if he confines his activities and comments to his religious duties and to preaching the world of God.” – News24