With old age comes senility, and when you become senile, you’ll begin to loose certain capabilities including the ability to see clearly or to remember certain things and that was just the case with Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe when he delivered the wrong speech at the opening of parliament, repeating an address he gave to the legislature last month.
A publication of the speech related that “on the occasion of the official opening of the third session of the eight parliament of Zimbabwe: 15th September, 2015.” President Mugabe delivered the exact same speech of the previous month with an opening statement stating ” once again, it gives me great pleasure to address this August House, this time, on the occasion of the opening of the third session of the Eight Parliament of Zimbabwe…”
The 91-year-old leader read the 25-minute-long speech through to the end on Tuesday, apparently unaware that he was delivering the same speech he presented the previous month on 25th August during his state-of-the-nation address where he was harshly questioned by opposition MPs who sang protest songs against his 10 point agenda to solve the deteriorated economic condition of the country.
As soon as Mugabe began his address, the audience noticed the blunder but didn’t disrupt him as they were initially warned against disrupting proceedings by the parliamentary speaker. The members of the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) sat quietly whereas the ruling ZAnu-PF party members clapped at regular intervals.
Nonetheless, the death threats opposition legislators received prior to the opening of parliament explained their unusual attitude towards the President’s speech. They reportedly received anonymous death threats warning them against booing Mugabe during his address.
Speaking on the issue, the MDC Chief whip, Innocent Gonese related that seven lawmakers of their party received text messages on their mobile phones warning them to behave. “The message is coming from a number which is not reflecting but it’s titled ‘death’…It warns the members concerned to know that immunity ends at parliament and once they step out of parliament that parliamentary immunity does not operate.” He said.
The death threat, as found on opposition MP Nelson Chamisa’s phone reads; “Warning: Immunity ends in parliament… act wisely by not disturbing the proceedings of parliament.”
Meanwhile, the presidential spokesman George Charamba said the error was because of a mix-up in the president’s secretarial office. “There has been a mix-up of speeches resulting in a situation where the president delivered the wrong speech…the mix-up happened in his secretarial office.” Charamba added that the error is “sincerely regretted”, and corrective measures being considered as the president would read the correct speech later at a hotel in the capital Harare.
But The masses are still tempted to ask if Mr President even noticed that he was reading the same speech from last month since there was no indication whatsoever on his part that he even noticed the difference. So Again we ask – Should we be worried about the president’s health? Is it possible that the country is equally moving backwards rather than forward? Mr Mugabe really needs to come up with plausible answers to put the mind of the people at ease because saying it was a secretarial mix up does not cut it.