OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he would rather have Vice President Joice Mujuru or Justice Minister Emmerson Manangwa emerge to lead the country as opposed to Robert Mugabe cling on as State President.
Tsvangirai told supporters at a rally in Seke communal lands weekend that Mnangagwa and Mujuru were much younger than Mugabe and would not be as stubborn as his 90-year-old rival in dealing with the country's deep economic problems.
"We must set a clear direction where this country is going, an economic plan that will make industry and farms work," Tsvangirai said.
"The issue in Zimbabwe is not economic but political; we need a political plan. No one is going to invest in a country with a 90-year-old leader. Mujuru or Mnangagwa are far much better than him.
He must graciously retire now and leave this to others. Zvinotovanani (it's far much better)."
Mujuru and Mnangagwa are currently locked in a silent but bitter succession battle as it becomes apparent the aging Mugabe's political career could soon be brought to an end through advanced age.
The succession battle has intensified as the liberation war movement draws closer to its elective congress in December this year.
Mugabe has led Zanu PF for close to four decades and has been State leader since majority rule 34 years ago.
Despite clear signs his political career is in its twilight period, a cunning Mugabe has stubbornly refused to give the smallest hint over his preferred successor.
Tsvangirai described his long time political foe as "the past" that Zimbabwe needed to break away from.
"The future is dark, there are no jobs. It's been a tough journey for Zimbabweans," he said.
"Look at China. It took a bold decision 30 years ago. After the death of Mao (tse Tung), China took a deliberate decision to do away with communism and embraced a market driven economy and now we can see how they have benefited from that bold decision.
"Zimbabwe needs that and Mugabe is the past; we must set the direction that will make this country work again."