JOHANNESBURG - Sources from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF told a prominent newspaper there, that he will only name a successor after elections.
Issues of succession rose in Malawi in the wake of President Bingu wa Mutharika’s death in April, and the same concerns have resonated in Zimbabwe, with President Mugabe being the only president since the country gained independence from colonial rule in 1980.
Mugabe, who turned 88 in February, has insisted that elections be held this year, although he recently appears to have agreed that a referendum on a new constitution will have to be held first.
Under the terms of a 2008 power-sharing deal between Zanu-PF and Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, a referendum on a new constitution is supposed to be held before elections.
After the referendum, the bill will probably go before Parliament in January 2013, legal watchdog Veritas has said previously.
The two main contenders for Mugabe's post are Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice President Joyce Mujuru.
Both have insisted in April, that they do not plan to run for presidency, with Mujuru saying she would not do so while Mugabe was in power.
The respected Zimbabwe Standard reported that Mujuru made that statement became Mugabe previously told Mnangagwa and Mujuru to stop plotting against each other in the run-up to polls.
The Sunday newspaper claims that sources in Zanu-PF said the president would only name his successor after the elections, which he is determined to win.
One official is reported to have said Mugabe would even be willing to enter into another coalition deal, as long as he remained president.
(Edited by Thato Motaung)