PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s increasing health frailties were exposed again yesterday when he was driven in a Ford Ranger sport utility vehicle (SUV) for a 200-metre distance instead of his usual stroll to greet over 7 000 party supporters at Nzvimbo Secondary School in Chiweshe for the first of 10 nationwide star rallies he is set to address ahead of elections on July 31.
Report by Paidamoyo Muzulu
Mugabe’s failing health has created anxiety in his Zanu PF party and constantly disrupted government business as he frequently flew to Singapore for medical attention in a bid to extend his 33-year. Mugabe, who was accompanied by his wife Grace, climbed into the back of the truck with the aid of a mobile staircase and his minders to wave to his supporters.
While Mugabe in a 50-minute address spoke about the need for a violent-free elections, his wife Grace, made a stinging personal attack on MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai describing him as a “philanderer” who wasted time gallivanting with girlfriends atexotic beaches instead of formulating policies that help improve the lives of the generality of Zimbabweans. For the first time in election campaigns, the first lady told party supporters that other political contenders such as Tsvangirai should stop dreaming about getting into the State House as her husband was there to stay.
“President Mugabe has been consistent in his messages about empowering the people unlike others who spent their time going to exotic beaches with different girlfriends. Those who dream about power should continue dreaming but we are at State House to stay,” she said.
Grace described Tsvangirai as a leader who only upholds personal interests rather than daddressing people’s concerns.
In his address, Mugabe admitted these elections would be tough considering the closely fought 2008 polls where Zanu PF survived narrowly survived defeat.
“This is going to be my first stop in the long journey throughout the country reminding people who we are, especially after 2008 when we seemed like we had forgotten about our history,” Mugabe said.
Zanu PF lost two parliamentary seats in Mashonaland Central to the MDC-T in 2008 elections, marking the first time the party lost a seat in the province since independence in 1980.
“Let’s not make the same mistake of 2008. We should be wary of puppet political parties that are seeking to reverse the gains of independence,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe said Zanu PF does not want another coalition government claiming that the MDC-T sabotaged the party’s policies, such as agriculture and the presidential scholarship scheme, through its control of Treasury.