Ncube, Zanu (PF)’s deputy Secretary for Administration, died of anaemia at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo and was declared national hero without any politburo debate.
Mugabe walked up the steps to his seat unassisted and delivered the speech. However, when he was going to Ncube’s grave, the aged leader was assisted by his wife, Grace, to go up and down the steps.
Mugabe walked slowly following the poll bearers at the national heroes’ acre and appeared to have struggled to come out of his official limousine Mercedes Benz.
“Gushungo havamborwara kunyeperwa vakasimba (Mugabe is not sick, they are lying, he is strong),” the youths sang before they were interjected by officials who include Home Affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi.
Mohadi said: “May I say that there must be discipline out there, we don’t want problems.”
Mugabe who arrived late for the burial bemoaned divisions in his party saying the imposition of candidates in internal party elections was destroying the party.
“We don’t do such things as revolutionaries. We don’t want the imposition of candidates. We are becoming too materialistic and that is going to destroy the party,” Mugabe said.
He repeated his signature mantra that “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again.”
“We can rule ourselves, we are a great people, and we can think and conceive ideas on our own. They (Britain) can rule the rest of the world but not Zimbabwe,” Mugabe said.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his senior Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) officials did not attend the burial of Ncube.
The burial of Ncube who was 74 was poorly attended with soldiers and police men occupying most of the space on the stands.