HARARE – Former president Robert Mugabe’s shadow hung over the Zanu PF’s extra-ordinary congress in the capital on Friday as officials mistakenly chanted praises in his name, although they expelled him.
The 37 years of chanting “pamberi naMugabe (forward with Mugabe)” seemed to have been programmed on their tongues as his name bellowed out in the loud speakers during proceedings.
Mugabe had been at the helm for 37 years and throughout the years the chants propping up his leadership had remained and even gotten improved as people used different voice tonnes to dramatise their “love” for him.
While the 93-year old was absent, a first time for him to miss a Zanu PF congress, his presence was felt as officials could not help but mistakenly chant slogans in his name.
First was Simon Khaya Moyo, the party’s spokesperson who was also the director of ceremonies, as he said pamberi na vaMuga… before realising that Mugabe was history.
Moyo then laughed it off and corrected himself and then said pamberi na President Emmerson Mnangangwa.
But people had already captured the gaffe with videos starting to circulate a few minutes later.
The sentiment on social media was that: “You can take away Mugabe from Zanu PF, but you cannot take away Zanu PF from Mugabe.”
Moyo was not the only one to make the mistake as the party’s secretary for finance Patrick Chinamasa also chanted pamberi na presidnet Ro…. before realising he was about to say the wrong name.
Unlike Moyo, Chinamasa did not laugh over it but rather continued presenting resolutions of the special committee where Mugabe was recalled as the party’s first secretary.
It did not stop there as another official also went to the podium and made the same mistake.
This comes as pictures of a 93-year-old Mugabe looking fit in Singapore circulated on social media.
He was accompanied by eight people, according to media reports.
Mugabe was forced to resign following an “intervention” by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces during an operation dubbed “Operation Restore Legacy.”
ZDF had said they were not after Mugabe but criminal elements around him. He resigned on November 21 as pressure mounted from his party who had started proceeding to get him impeached.
They then replaced him, with his former deputy Mnangagwa.
During his speech at the extraordinary congress Mnangagwa paid tribute to Mugabe for leading the party and the country for 37 years.