By Sij Ncube
HARARE, September 16, 2015 – PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe Wednesday saved himself from further embarrassment by staying away from parliament despite summoning the august house to return to conclude unfinished business in the wake of delivering a “wrong speech” the previous day.
In what ranks as one of the major blunders in his political career since independence from colonial Britain in 1980, the Zanu (PF) leader was made to read an out-dated speech on Tuesday he initially delivered last month, much to his embarrassment.
After the gaffe which went viral on social networks and was also picked by the international press, Mugabe’s spin-doctors had intimated Mugabe would return to parliament Wednesday to atone for his mistakes.
But he failed to show up as outrage persisted over is conduct, with the opposition MDC formations insisting he is no longer fit to be in office, calling for him to be impeached.
However Mugabe’s “wrong speech” dominated parliament Wednesday with opposition legislators calling for an investigation on how he was made to read an old speech when he has a full information secretariat headed by his spokesman George Charamba who doubles-up as the permanent secretary for New Media and Broadcasting Services.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa set the ball-rolling by moving a motion for the wrong speech to be withdrawn and substituted with correct version.
MDC T legislator Nelson Chamisa said it was a scandal that Mugabe read a wrong speech, saying those responsible should be punished.
“Heads must roll,” he said much to the delight of the opposition bench. “It’s an international story that is serious and involves a whole AU chairman,” he charged.
As MDC parliamentarians pushed for a probe, Zanu PF member Munyaradzi Kereke said investigations to find out who caused the gaffe could take long and suggested that in the meanwhile members should allow the speech to be tabled to allow business to move on while investigations take place.
As visibly agitated Joseph Chinotimba said Mugabe was embarrassed.
Meanwhile, Welshman Ncube’s MDC joined the growing list of organisations and individuals calling for Mugabe to go, saying his latest gaffe has proved beyond doubt that he is just too old, tired, too sick and “not within his mental capacities and therefore totally incapable of performing the rigorous functions required of a head of state.”
“He has become a great liability to Zimbabwe and his continued stay in office puts the nation’s survival at great risk. And at 92 -years old we expect no less. Most people his age are either in old people’s homes or resting while telling folklore to their great -grandchildren in rural areas. Zimbabweans can do without a stumbling, fumbling and bungling president.”
It called on the bicameral parliament to call a joint session to declared Mugabe unfit to govern.