Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says his successor must be chosen democratically and that his wife will not automatically inherit the role, a warning to feuding members of his ZANU-PF party that he is still in charge after 36 years in power.
In a two-hour interview with state broadcaster ZBC TV late on Thursday he said: "Why successor? I am still there. Why do you want a successor? I did not say I was a candidate to retire." were elected not appointed, he said.
"In a democratic party, you don't want leaders appointed that way to lead the party. They have to be appointed properly by the people, at a gathering of the people, at a congress."
"Others say the president wants to leave the throne for his wife. Where have you ever seen that, even in our own culture, where a wife inherits from her husband?" Mugabe said
He will be 99 if he wins and completes that term, his last under a new constitution. He also told ZBC TV he wanted to live to 100, that he was fit and still did daily morning exercises.
"I am happy because I am about to reach the age I want. You know the age I want to reach - 100 years. So only eight years remain," Mugabe said.
Fighting over leadership of a post-Mugabe ZANU-PF has intensified since late 2014, when Mugabe accused his deputy, Joice Mujuru, of plotting to oust him and fired her. Mujuru launched a new political party this week.
Mugabe said Mujuru's party was doomed to fail and that ZANU-PF was still intact. The in-fighting was "peripheral", he said.
Critics blame Mugabe for many of the Zimbabwe's problems.
They say his policies, including the seizures and redistribution of white-owned commercial farms, drove one of Africa's most promising economies into an 8-year recession and almost halved output.
In the same interview, Mugabe said his government would take possession of all diamond operations, a week after his mines minister ordered a halt to mining in the Marange diamond fields.