via I’m ruling under duress Mugabe tells KK 11 December 2014
President Robert Mugabe told former Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda that he was ruling Zimbabwe unwillingly.
This revelation comes amid mounting gaffes that the president, soon to turn 91, has been making.
A contact in Mugabe’s entourage told The Zimbabwean that he made the remark a month ago at the burial of former president Michael Sata in Zambia.
“KK (Kenneth Kaunda) approached him (Mugabe) and jokingly asked if he was still ruling in Zimbabwe. HE (his Excellency) joked back and said he was ruling under duress. Not many seemed to have noticed the joke but one or two heads of state whispered to each other immediately after the president said this,” said the highly-placed source.
“We have also been discussing his statement he made at Sata’s burial. It seems strange that, from nowhere, HE started talking of being forced to rule.
The questions is, by who? Maybe that is how he feels but is not telling anyone. Because of old age, some of these things sometimes get out without him knowing that is what he is saying,” he added.
Zambia has had four presidents since Kaunda was beaten in multiparty polls in 1991, while Mugabe, his contemporary still reigns in Zimbabwe.
Recent reports indicate that Mugabe is now living under the command of his wife, Grace, who reportedly forces him to make certain decisions on government and party business. Party insiders have also revealed that Grace is the one who has been ordering him to fire her political foes.
Over the years, Mugabe is said to have been held hostage by army generals and a powerful clique in his party who do not want him to retire as a way of safeguarding their ill-gotten gains.
Mugabe made another embarrassing gaffe at the recent congress when, addressing delegates towards the end, he denounced his own party inadvertently. He chanted, “Pasi neZanu (PF)—Down with Zanu (PF)!” which is a slogan normally used by political opponents.
The slip happened when Mugabe’s attention was disturbed by the intrusive Grace who had passed him a note urging him to wind up his rambling speech.
He made another embarrassing slip recently when he remarked that Morgan Tsvangirai had won the 2008 election against him by 73 percent. The army generals and war veterans he was addressing quickly corrected him.
In July, Mugabe claimed that results of last year’s general elections were announced on July 31 2013, which in fact was the date the polls were held. He was addressing party supporters at State House where Zanu (PF) was celebrating its controversial landslide victory.
The president also courted controversy during the congress when he accused Joice Mujuru, his former deputy, of trying to assassinate him using black magic, in a development many said showed his growing paranoia.
His personal spokesperson, George Charamba, could not be reached to comment on the gaffes.