HARARE – With President Robert Mugabe (90) showing more and more signs of dementia and not up to the task of running the country, he made a telling admission on Saturday when he said his wife was fond of telling him what to do.
Holding a piece of paper passed on to him, Mugabe revealed that his wife had written the note telling him that he had spoken for too long on stage.
“Ndozvandinoitwa kumba imi we, saka ndototeerera – even at home that’s what she does to me so I have to listen.”
Immediately after that Mugabe made another embarrassing gaffe when he chanted “Pasi ne Zanu PF” (down with Zanu PF) before he got promptly corrected and he re-chanted “Pamberi Ne Zanu PF ” (Up with Zanu PF).
On Tuesday last week while addressing service chiefs and the new leadership of the war veterans association at the Zanu PF headquarters, Mugabe made another telling “Freudian slip” of the tongue when he said opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had garnered 73 percent of the vote in the 2008 presidential poll.
Many believe dementia is setting in and the octogenarian who has been in power for over 34 years might be inadvertently telling the truth in his speeches. There is a growing school of thought that First Lady Grace Mugabe is now effectively a “Prime Minister” of sorts and calling the shots in the party and government.
Grace went some way into confirming this when she led the smear campaign against Vice President Joice Mujuru. Given Mugabe’s physical condition it was left to Grace to travel on countrywide rallies attacking Mujuru.
Addressing about 3 000 Zanu PF supporters at Chipadze Stadium in Bindura in October this year, Grace said she had ordered her husband to dump Mujuru at the December congress, failure to which she would do it herself.
“The youths have alerted me about someone who is spearheading factionalism in this (Mashonaland Central) province and I told baba (President Mugabe) to “baby-dump” that person. I told him that if he does not dump the person, we will do it ourselves. Even baba is also fed up with the person,” she said.
Months later Mugabe admits at the congress that his wife tells him what to do.