Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, 92, is talking about retirement but the question people are asking is whether he means it.

Over the weekend Mr Mugabe told a meeting of about 400 non-combatant veterans of the anti-colonial struggle that if he were to retire he should be allowed to do so “properly”.

He also criticised some leaders of his ruling Zanu-PF for wishing him dead and trying to bewitch him so that they could take over.

Infighting among ruling party factions vying to succeed Mr Mugabe have intensified as he appears increasingly frail.

But it’s not the first time that he is speaking about stepping down.

In 2006 he announced he would not stand for the 2008 election. Despite this, he contested the poll, and won a violent and disputed election.

So it is unclear when, if at all, President Mugabe will step down.

Over the weekend, Zanu-PF’s provincial committees unanimously endorsed him as their candidate for the 2018 elections, when he will be 94.

The party will ratify the endorsement at an annual conference next month.

So for now it does not seem that he is seriously considering retiring.