12 Dec 2009

Infighting is wrecking my party - Mugabe

9:25 pm on 12 December 2009

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe says infighting is tearing his governing party apart.

"The party is eating itself up," he told Zanu-PF's first conference since it lost absolute power at last year's elections and entered a power-sharing arrangement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mr Mugabe told the Harare gathering that seats had been lost to the MDC because of factional rows.

"The more intense the internal fighting is, the greater opportunity we give to the opposition to thrive," he said.

The BBc reports that the party has been riven by squabbles over who should eventually succeed the 85-year-old leader, who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

He is still expected to be re-elected as party leader for another five years.