Outgoing African Union Chairperson and Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe gives an address to the 26th presidential summit of the African Union on January 30, 2016 in Addis Ababa. Chad's president Idriss Deby (not pictured) was appointed on January 30, 2016 the new African Union Chairperson. African leaders met in a bid to end armed crises, including in troubled Burundi, with an unprecedented vote on deploying a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force despite Burundi's vehement opposition. / AFP / TONY KARUMBA

Harare – Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has come under attack from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for saying during the just ended African Union summit in Ethiopia that he would rule the country until he dies.

In a statement on Monday, PDP Youth Assembly Chairperson, Moses Manyengavana said Mugabe’s utterances were irresponsible and an insult to the suffering masses.

“It is detestable that a leader who has been at the helm of this country for 36 years still harbours ambitions to continue as the country’s chief executive. What is more appalling to Mugabe’s assertions is that the 36 years of his rule have been 36 long years of suffering which saw more than 20 000 people massacred in a genocide in the early 80s, the economy completely destroyed and unemployment rising to a shocking 91%,” he said.

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Zimbabwe, he said, was for every citizen of the country and should not be privatised by an individual, especially Mugabe, whose rule was characterized by violence, heartlessness and greed.

“It must dawn on Mugabe in his advanced years and nefarious mind that Zimbabwe is not an extension of his struggling Gushungo Dairy and neither is it a piece of land in the back yard of his neglected Zvimba rural home,” Manyengavana charged.

Manyengavana called on all opposition political parties to come together and form a coalition and craft a common path of action to save the country from the abyss it had been dragged into by Mugabe.

Read: Biti leads call for Mugabe’s resignation

Mugabe became AU chairperson in January 2015 amid pomp and fanfare, but local analysts and opposition groups say his term was a disaster.

Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, told delegates to the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that he would lead the Southern African country until God called him.

“I will be there until God says come, but as long as am alive, I will head the country, forward ever, backward never,” a local independent weekly quoted Mugabe as saying at the weekend.

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