The local Daily News reports that Mugabe boldly declared that he will not be stampeded out of office through what he called sponsored mass civil unrest being fomented by some within his own party.
Mugabe, 93, has ruled Zimbabwe since the advent of majority rule in April 1980 which followed a bitter armed struggle for independence.
Having presided over the once-prosperous southern African State for 37 years, Mugabe has been under pressure to hand over the baton from within and outside of his party because of concerns around his advanced age and ill-health.
With the country’s economy having slipped into a full blown crisis, calls for him to step aside have been getting louder amid intense wrangling in Mugabe’s party over his succession.
Addressing mourners at the funeral of the late vice president Joseph Msika’s wife, Maria, at the National Heroes Acre yesterday, the Zanu PF leader said he would instead wield the axe on those trying to dethrone him.
He made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of vacating the presidential seat, making it known to his perceived foes that he was firmly rooted to it.
“Those who are scheming to effect regime change will not succeed,” said Mugabe.
“No one can force his way to this throne. I did not force my way onto this throne, it was given to me by the people and so it belongs to the people, handidi nacho (I will not relinquish it).
“When the right time comes, I will go back to the people to say here is your throne, now choose whomever you want to take over, kwanhasi ndakati zete pachiri (but for now, I am rooted to it),” he exclaimed.
As the veteran politician thundered through the microphone, Cabinet ministers leapt from their seats below him to his right in wild ovation.
Buoyed, by the acclamation, Mugabe added: “So we are not sleeping these days as we maintain a watchful eye, in case they sneak through the night like witches. We are jealously guarding the throne.
“We are watching over them to see what kind of plots they are up to, but they are not going anywhere,” he said.
“To Mai Msika, we say go well and when you get there, tell VaMsika that we still have the throne, no one can wrestle it away from us,” said Mugabe.
Maria died on Friday last week after a long illness.
Mugabe, who is increasingly getting disposed towards a faction in the ruling party known as Generation 40 (G40), described those angling to remove him from power as notorious.
He equated their plots as being treacherously akin to the biblical Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus Christ despite having been one of his most trusted disciples.
“We have Judas Iscariots among us whom we dine with daily so we are going to deal with them. They tamper with our currency (bond notes, which have significantly fallen in value) to trigger inflation.
“They want to dethrone the president so that there can be regime change in the country, the Judas Iscariots of our times. Let us pluck them off,” Mugabe said.
Zanu PF is split between two factions namely G40 and Team Lacoste.
Team Lacoste is openly campaigning for Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to take-over from Mugabe.
Yesterday, the Zanu PF leader said he knew of individuals within the party and its hierarchy who are causing economic mayhem by deliberately undermining government initiatives so they can take over his throne in the event of civil unrests.
The statements come just three days after he described Zanu PF as infested with rotten apples, suggesting that a purge of the bad apples could be in the offing.
It also comes in the middle of a deadly economic implosion that has seen prices of basic commodities and services rocketing as foreign currency reserves continue to dwindle, resulting in suppliers and retailers struggling to restock.
A Cabinet meeting on Wednesday ended with him despatching three ministers, Patrick Chinamasa (Finance and Economic Development), Chris Mushowe (Information, Media and Broadcasting Services) and Samuel Undenge (Energy and Power Development) to issue threat-laded speeches.
Chinamasa threatened a crackdown on business people turning down electronic transfer payments, as the premium rate between United States dollar and the bond note peaked to 63 percent on the parallel market.
Undenge threatened to crackdown on fuel retailers whom he accused of diverting their foreign currency allocations to other uses to create artificial market shortage.
Mushowe threatened social media “abusers” whom government accuses of causing alarm and despondency by spreading messages that triggered panic buying.