Opposition leader Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, who was Minister of Water during the inclusive government from 2009, says Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Robert Mugabe is a brilliant man but it is now time for him to give another person a chance to lead the country. “In my experience working with the President, that man called Robert Gabriel Mugabe is brilliant, he knows what he is doing, he strategises and he is a planner. You cannot lie to him and he cannot be cheated. He may be sitting there and you think he is sleeping but no, he is attentive, alert and a good listener,” Nkomo was quoted by the Zimbabwe Mail as saying. “If ministers brief him and change their statements in cabinet, he will quickly say: ‘No, this is not what you told me prior to this meeting’. Mugabe is a brilliant leader although I still think it is important for us to have change for the purposes of growth. For instance, all the spheres of our lives require change for growth, recently, BancAbc changed management, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe got a new governor and we also want that in politics, which is why in our parlance we call it renewal,” Nkomo, one of those who broke away from Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change to join Tendai Biti in the Renewal Team, said. Mugabe was re-elected ZANU-PF leader at the party congress this month and is the party’s presidential candidate for 2018 when he will be 94. Mugabe last week appointed Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko as his deputies clearing the way for his succession following a bitter and acrimonious fight with his former deputy Joice Mujuru who he and his wife accused of plotting to oust him. There has been speculation that Mugabe got rid of Mujuru to maintain his grip on power but some reports say Mujuru was not likely to carry forward Mugabe’s policies and that is why it was necessary to replace her with Mnangagwa whom they argue is a hardliner like Mugabe.