In Summary
  • The president unveiled a plaque at the newly named Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on Thursday.
  • The refurbishment of the airport has been condemned by opposition figures as a waste of money.
  • The Opposition says the renaming of the airport "marks a new low in the political and aviation history of Zimbabwe".

HARARE

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe attended a ceremony renaming Harare International Airport in his honour on Thursday, as his sacking of the vice president fuelled speculation over his succession plans.

The 93-year-old president unveiled a plaque at the newly named Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, located 15 kilometres outside the centre of the capital.

RENAMED

The refurbishment of the airport has been condemned by opposition figures as a waste of money.

Activists from Mugabe's ZANU-PF party had campaigned for it to be renamed, threatening to bar the transport minister from the president's birthday celebrations in February unless their demands were met.

"Thank you most sincerely for the honour bestowed on me. It is indeed a great gesture," Mugabe said at the ceremony at the airport, which first opened in 1957.

SUCCESSION

On Monday Mugabe sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, formerly one of his closest allies, in a dramatic move that appeared to open the way for his wife Grace to succeed him in office.

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