Witch-hunt over Mugabe blunder

HARARE - As reported by the Daily News yesterday, President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF is teetering on the edge after he embarrassingly read the wrong speech on Tuesday — with powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe, party hardliners and security chiefs apparently now baying for the blood of those who exposed the frail nonagenarian to public ridicule.

Underpinning Grace’s anger, as well as that of the security chiefs and the group of Zanu PF’s ambitious Young Turks known as the Generation 40 (G40) — which is locked in a vicious power struggle with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s supporters — is a suspicion that the nonagenarian was set up to demonstrate that he was well past “his political sell-by-date”.

Well-placed sources last night said that it was certain “heads will roll”, amid the suspicions that some of the factions in the bitterly-divided ruling party may have exchanged the right speech for the wrong one to embarrass Mugabe and to put pressure on him to resign in the hope of wrestling power.

This follows Tuesday’s extraordinary events when Mugabe obliviously ploughed through the wrong speech — reading the same one which he delivered during his much-criticised State-of-the-Nation address three weeks ago as he opened the current Parliamentary session in Harare.

Mugabe’s correct speech was read by Mnangagwa yesterday and he appeared to confirm that investigations were going on when asked in Parliament by an MDC MP about the monumental blunder and whether they were going to carry out a probe. He said:

“The mistake is regretted but it is not the duty of the legislature to interrogate the executive because it’s true that the duty as to why that mistake happened lies with the executive.”

One of the sources who spoke to the Daily News said Grace was “seething with anger over the mix-up”, which she and other top Zanu PF officials viewed as “a deliberate act of sabotage”.

Apparently, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, had already tasked presidential spokesperson George Charamba to “look into what happened” and make recommendations on “how the administration can make sure that something like this does not happen again, ever”.

A brief statement by Charamba on Tuesday, which was released just after Mugabe’s boob, claimed that the “mix-up” happened in the nonagenarian’s secretarial office.

Another source insisted in an interview with the Daily News that what happened on Tuesday was allegedly “a well choreographed and deliberate ploy to embarrass the president” — urging authorities to investigate “those who were fighting to succeed the president”.

“Firstly, I want to make it clear that George Charamba’s explanation that there was a mix up in the secretarial pool is a joke. Is he saying the president gets the speech straight from the typing pool?

“These people must stop misleading the president and the nation, and heads must roll. There is nothing like that. Charamba must not take people for fools.

“Inquiries so far suggest strongly that there are some Zanu PF comrades who are desperate to succeed President Mugabe at all costs.

“Remember also that last time these same people instigated MDC MPs to boo and heckle the president, and when the security structures took measures to avoid this, the same faces devised this plan to embarrass him by slipping the wrong speech in the president’s file.

“It does not make sense that other copies like those meant for the media were correct and only the president’s speech was the wrong one. How, when they were printed at once?

“In any case, is Charamba telling us that the president does not revise his speech or that Charamba himself does not check the speech before it is delivered? Can we be made to believe that the speech comes straight from the typing pool to the president to deliver? No man.

“What is clear is that the president is on his own, and the people who claim to like him so much who are around him are traitors. The President’s Office must look at the factions in the party and not be fooled that this was a mistake.

“The truth is that these people want the nation and the world to believe that Mugabe is now too old to continue ruling and want to take advantage of the constitutional provision of replacing him without going for elections. That constitutional provision is the most dangerous in our country and must be amended as soon as possible.

“Curiously, why is it that when the president clearly went offside, his aides did not alert him to this? Why was he allowed to look bad like that? Why were the MPs, some of them very educated, clapping hands for him for an old speech? That was pure evil,” said the irate senior Zanu PF official.

Zanu PF legislators gleefully ululated and clapped their hands — urging Mugabe on — even as it was abundantly clear that “the emperor had no clothes”, as one opposition MP put it on Tuesday.

Charamba was seen frantically approaching Mnangagwa during the nonagenarian’s calamitous speech, in a futile endeavour to try and rescue his boss from further embarrassment.

Another source said “the press secretary (Charamba) and chief of protocol Munyaradzi Kajese” were supposed to help with the preparations and handling of Mugabe’s speeches, adding that “both need to explain”.

“There’s simply no excuse for it ... was there no one who understood the significance of what they were doing? Somebody’s head should roll for this. ... This is deliberate,” he said — adding that the blunder raised security concerns around Mugabe.

“What can stop the president from being made to read a resignation speech unawares in future,” he also asked.

However, other Zanu PF and government officials played down the significance and negative implications of the blunder, saying that secretaries who had been responsible for this often worked with no supervision.

“It appears that very junior people were just trying to follow an order without realising their mistake and its ramifications,” one of the less negative officials said.

Alex Magaisa, a former advisor to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, said it was possible that the boob was an honest but negligent mistake.

“The president’s spokesperson George Charamba has called it a mix-up. It probably is. But given the political climate that is fraught with suspicions as the race to succeed president Mugabe intensifies, there will be a flurry of conspiracy theories.

“Fingers will be pointed at some people. Which faction do they belong to, they will ask? Are they not Gamatox — short-hand for those who are allegedly aligned to former VP Mujuru, ousted last year and now challenging president Mugabe?

“It will be said that this was a deliberate move to embarrass president Mugabe, to undress him before the nation’s eyes and ultimately before the world, such is the attention that the man attracts across the world.

“It will be said that this was an intentional ploy to paint a negative picture that President Mugabe is now too old; that his wits have escaped him. If, as it seems, it was a genuine error, this will be sad, but it’s almost inevitable that someone will be made to pay the price for it. This is politics after all — someone must take responsibility,” Magaisa said.

In the aftermath of the blunder, the main opposition MDC claimed that the president’s immediate departure was now necessary to stem the country’s feared slide into chaos.

“This clearly goes to show that Robert Mugabe no longer has the requisite mental faculties that are needed for him to continue in office as the Head of State,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

Lovemore Madhuku, leader of the opposition National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), said for Mugabe to deliver the same speech showed that the president was running “a clumsy government”.

“It is that clumsiness that accounts for our social and economic decay,” Madhuku said.

Comments (47)

“What can stop the president from being made to read a resignation speech unawares in future,” he also asked. A RESIGNATION SPEECH ! That will be the best thing HIS EXCELLENCY could do for us a.a.a.n.n n.d.d.d,believe me, the best favour he can do for hiself. BOB whom they call Gushungo needs a rest - no secret about it. All you Zanu-PF supporters who keep cheering him on are cruel: you want him to keep on going till he drop. Hutsinye rudziyi rwakadayi ? Regai chidhara chiende kwaZvimba kusina pollution yemuHarare chinozwizorerera. You will be amazed to find that you will also experience a breeze of fresh air whereever you are in Zimbabwe.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 17 September 2015

Yoo,bvuma kuchembera

thd - 17 September 2015

Vana 've zanu ne vana 've opposition b it Mac or whatEva. Pliz Zimbabwe lets unite. Mnangangwa ngwana is on yo side,Grace is on yo side, ndisekuru Vassar chete. Totongwa nechitunha here tiripo. Ngatishinge vana 've Zimbabwe, lets unite. Ndebele, kslanga or chewa

zanu - 17 September 2015

So does this means Mr Mugabe on reads speachs which were writen by somebody? And what about everything? Is he also told what to do? Shame, shame on us. Where are we heading?

dembo - 17 September 2015

The fact that he continued to read a wrong speech without realising it , is very worrying. Forget about who did what , focus on him. Is he fit for any purpose? I think it's time to call it quit Mr President

Be Warned! - 17 September 2015

Well in 2013 he swapped election results. Wrong results were announced by his comrades in theft and he was so happy so he must be happy with the speech he read bcoz he is in govt today bcoz of wrong results which were announced on his behalf although they were not his .Every thing created through bumenemene chikilipi will always haunt those who practice it like zanu now the chickens are coming home to roost chesa mpaaaama

Diibulaanyika - 17 September 2015

Mistakes are very common but musatsvinyire mudhara uyu mhani. Hamuna tsitsi makaita seiko vanhu imi. Ndoomabatire amunoita vana sekuru kumusha kwenyuvo here aya? Aiwa, musadaro kani. Inga mudhara akakufundisai chikoro zvakanaka wani, madegree tekeshe. Mungamutambavo rough yakadai here kumuverengesa wrong speech. Muchakuravo. Please have mercy guys and don't abuse mudhara like this. Wezhira

Sultan - 17 September 2015

Any one who occupies the highest office in the land is subject to scrutiny if they do not like that they must hamba khaya and live there without stress but as for Mugabe only those who are sasikam can feel sorry for him finish and klaa

Diibulaanyika - 17 September 2015

For someone known to be well educated and astute to plough in a wrong old speech is proof positive that he is at his wits end. He should have realised it too that it was the same speech he delivered before however, he opted to go ahead and deliver it any way. This was a deliberate ploy to embarrass him and what was even more embarrassing was the eulogy from the mps knowing or pretending to be unaware that mugabe was reading the wrong speech. This is the reason our nation is where it is because of incompetent leadership. leaders who want us to believe all is well in front of glaring truth. What a shame

pride - 17 September 2015

Remember the 'pasi ne zanu pf' gaff just a few months ago??? The problem with us zimbos is how soon we forget. This man is indeed way past his 'sell by' date. There's no doubt about it. Where in the history of the world was there ever a 91 year old leader. We have to be the dumbest citizens on the planet, zanu pf sympathizers being the dumbest. Anyway this recent hap ( and not mishap) shows that Bob is simply a figurehead and does absolutely nothing except fly all over the world. Save us the cheap talk about heads rolling. You'll only make it look worse. Someone is leading Zimbabwe in the background there and not Bob. He's merely a dummy. Lets hear what he has to say at the hero's burial very soon. I hope he wont gaff again and thinks its Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo's burial

Realist - 17 September 2015

Natural laws are very powerful because they are GOD given.That every men grows old may not be palatable but it can not be denied.

juks - 17 September 2015

I'd like to congratulate whoever swapped the speeches. That is an act of bravery!

MZ - 17 September 2015

it all started with the miraculous fall at the airport (and i think he is the first head of state to fall like that) then there is this fantasy of lablling mujuru a witch,then this error of reading the wrong message means the boy has expired and is best before 2000,

farai chauke - 17 September 2015

Yowee Ma1. Mudhara ngaachizorora plse

Che - 17 September 2015

Dont go and address the nation at Heroes Acre on Saturday . From there you will resign by yourself. Take Heed. I know you dont listen then the prophecy shall indeed manifest. Remember Peter ' I will never deny you my Messiah,

My Prophecy - 17 September 2015

"Be Warned" I am totally with you. There is no need for a witch hunt in this matter. The blame should be put squarely on Mr Mugabe's shoulders. How did he not notice that he was reading from the wrong paper even by the very first sentence? If he was forty or fifty years younger, alert and energetic, no doubt he would have immediately noted the anomaly, but because it is natural for a very old person like him to become physically infirm - necessitating retirement - such things will continue to happen. It is completely without doubt that behind the scenes, there is a huge amount of uncatalogued events of senility by this long serving man. No other head should roll except his. To say someone should pay for his mistake is to agree that he is now at a stage where he is unable to do anything for himself, indeed suggesting that he is, (has been since 1980) unfit to continue in office.

Mr Dete - 17 September 2015

Mugabe prayed to God to die in office and God heard his prayers - so let him shit himself on stage- its called old age. He must not be reading a nation's speeches in the first place. He should be playing with his grandchildren. There is no conspiracy here, if you give two documents to a 91 year old, the new one to read and the old one for reference only; he might end up reading the old one and using the new for reference and not even realise it- that is called old age, it happens to everyone after a certain age - do not blame anyone - blame the man who wants to die in office.

Yimindoda Ndoda - 17 September 2015

When we say this guy is a moving grave he does not listen we say please resign you are half dead he does not take us serious when we say you have killed this country bcoz every thing in it is broken down and those still work are very dirty even people are all dirty the money that is not ours is very dirty just look at any USD notes that we have are all dirty and they look like papers for shiite at chimbuzi but still Mugabe wont listen and that makes citizens of this dead country believe the guy Mugabe is not educated bcoz if he was he would have seen it that he is the problem in this country where every citizen wants to leave and stay in some foreign countries demity !!!!!.Mugabe was a mistake since 1980 gukurahundi , ESAP, MURAMBASWINA , KILINGS OF OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS CHASING AWAY WHITE ZIMBABWEANS FROM THEIR FARMS EMPLOYING DESCRIMINATION AND UNDERMINING OTHER ZIMBABWEANS ON TRIBAL GROUNDS HAS MADE THIS COUNTRY A HEAP OF RUBBISH . AWU HAMBA MUGABE HOZA MORGAN

Diibulaanyika - 17 September 2015

He knew he was going to Parliament and the reason why so if he read the wrong speech the fault lies squarely with him. Period.

Okech - 17 September 2015

They can witch-hunt and punish the scapegoats but the problem will not go away. Mugabe is old and frail and hasn't got the time and energy any more to read and familiarise himself with his speeches before delivery. He used to do this but cant do it any more on health grounds. The solution for Mugabe is to retire now and take a well deserved rest. Failure to retire means more of this,falling and more embarrassment for Mugabe and the country. Given that Mugabe will not retire on his own people should prepare for more of this circus and embarrassment.

Nando - 17 September 2015

How do you read a whole speech, for more than 20 minutes , without realising that this is a repetition? This speaks volumes...kkkk

Tahir Iqbal - 17 September 2015

Those with influence over this man must sit down with him and try and explain what might happen to the country if he gets a stroke. Every sign is pointing to that this man is not well . I never imagined Zimbabwe would end up just like any other African country. I remember in 2000 a post graduate student from Tanzania told me that your country will go the same way like what had happened to them . I said never because I believed we will not repeat the same mistakes which other countries did. I guess I was very wrong and arrogant . We humans we have serious limitations and sometimes it's wise to realise that before it's too late especially for those in leadership positions.

Be warned!! - 17 September 2015

I liked the idea of giving him a speech to read announcing his resignation. An opportunity was missed.

david taylor - 18 September 2015

Wrong or right speach result=zero. We are doomed till god smiles down @ us.

EL-DODO - 18 September 2015

kana pakamboita ka problem sezvizvi zve wrong speech vanhu vano venga president vombo farawo. the problem is he still carries on. mucha svotwa mukaneta while his life goes on. when he fell many imagined that would be the end of him but he still goes on.

taurai - 18 September 2015

Mthakathi hunting another mthakathi .Kwaaaaakwaakwaaa

Diibulaanyika - 18 September 2015

The truth always reveals itself, nomatter how much lies,rejections and decoys may be put in it's path. Truths hurts.Truth never die, truth lives infinitely.Try to twist the truth and it will twist you.The truth might varnish but it's specks will lead you to the whole truth. I ........swear that I will abide by the truth bla bla bla .....so help me God.

Black hole - 18 September 2015

This person called Robert Mugabe the malawi cum zezuru ancestor never takes responsibility. He was the one reading it, surely the buck must stop with him.

Galore 123 - 18 September 2015

surely where was that old speech note. Three weeks ? surely a piece of paper will still be on top of the desk? where is the filing ? In the President's office? Tell us the truth

JUZO - 18 September 2015

KKKKKKK, the time we waiting for has now arrived. This issue is bigger than it sound guys. How can one finish a speech he preprared without realising "ITS NOT THE APPROPRIATE ONE FOR THIS OCCASION" When Zimbabwe is finally delivered to its children there will be many heroes but for me whoever played that swap ranks high. Anyway macomrades the writing is on the wall. THE REAL PRESIDENT READ THE REAL SPEECH THE FOLLOWING DAY. As for Gushungo last year's was his last. Now the real people who want to take over power have arrived on the table. This never happened during Simon Muzenda, Dr. Gen. Joshua Nkomo, Musika, John Nkomo or the only living widow of the late General Solomon Mujuru. Ngwena and Mpoko tell us the truth which faction has played the president a fool and decided to let the the world what we all know except grace and G40

Newnation - 19 September 2015

Kkkkkkk Diibulaanyika you got it right 2013 election results swapped. Zvimwe ndezvimwe you can rig election results and remain in power for a long time but you cann't rig your mental stated. Some cognitive mulfunctioning are now evident. Those who are ruling dont want you to go. Very soon they will put you in seclusion and feed you Zopiclone to sleep while they rule and dine. It was supose to be a good ending for this guy. Dont you think.

Newnation - 19 September 2015

just b4 the congress Mugabe told the generals that MDC had won by 73% in the 2008 elections,b4 they interjected him and told him what they thought was the correct number,then during the congress he gaffed 'PASI NEZANU PF' fine ,no heads rolled then but am pretty sure if the generals had not interjected their heads would have rolled.Then he fell on the steps and heads rolled and some rolled off the shoulders.Now he reads a wrong speech and some heads will roll again.Damn it!This is nonsense .All along l thought that Mugabe directs what he wants to see in his speech or at least revise it before hand.Is it not now clear that someone writes speeches for Mugabe and spoon feeds him.Remember at the congress when Mugabe said "aaah mai vanyora katsamba hanzi ndataurisa,chero kumba ndozvandinoitwa imiwee".It shows that Gee had noticed the fast deteriorating faculties of this geriatric and she is holding him by a leash.Then another theory is that Mugabe is simply old enough to fail to recognise anything,be it speech ,steps,election results,and even his party,he is too old to notice the line between whatever.He said PASI NEZANU PF which means the word "pasi" and "pamberi" means the same thing .People of Zimbabwe ,brace for more.These are not mistakes.its a reflection of old age,Unfortunately the morons in ZANU PF thinks he is growing younger .they think he is turning 90 next year and 89 the year after.

vilbram avril - 22 September 2015

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