Chinese President ‘to urge’ Zimbabwe’s Mugabe to quit

Chinese President Xi Jinping is tipped to tell Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe that he should step down, if Zimbabwe is to secure trade deals.

Mugabe has been President of Zimbabwe since 1987, and is a notorious opponent of ‘Westerners’ and LGBT rights – recently giving a bizarre speech to the United Nations in which he ranted about gay rights before shouting “we are not gays!”

Homosexuality is not against the law in the country, but LGBT people often face harsh government clampdowns – with Mugabe claiming homosexuality is a filthy disease, and claiming Zimbabwe would “never, never, never” support homosexuality.

Prior to the visit of China’s President Xi this week, no senior political figure has visited Zimbabwe in 15 years.

However, the Chinese President reportedly sees Mugabe as a liability – and according to the Times will ask him to finally step down, in order to trade secure deals for Zimbabwe.

A senior diplomat told the newspaper: “Zimbabwe is turning into a factor of regional instability, which will affect investment to all of its neighbours.

“Mugabe hates the West. President Xi is probably the only person with the influence over him to tell him the time has come to ­resign and to work out a clear succession plan.”

Zimbabwean pundit Eldred Masunungure added: “The Chinese want political stability.

“Jinping will happily point out that there is leadership renewal every 10 years in China, which gives the system built-in predictability.

“Mugabe will have to do something about it before getting funding from China.”