Speech-gate: MDC-T demands ‘ailing’ Mugabe steps down after ‘wrong speech’ fiasco

HARARE – The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has called on President Robert Mugabe to step down following the fiasco in Parliament today when the 91-year-old Zanu PF leader read an old speech delivered 3 weeks ago.

President Robert Mugabe
Time to Rest: President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe repeated his State of the Nation Address (SONA) address last month word for word. Presidential spokesperson George Charamba is reported to have alerted Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa about the mistake, but no action was taken.

In statement issued immediately after the opening of parliament the MDC believes Mugabe should do the right thing and step down.

That Mugabe could not recognize that he was delivering an old speech showed that “he is too old and therefore ,no longer fit for purpose,” party spokesman Obert Gutu said in statement sent to Nehanda Radio.

The incident “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. The MDC would like to call upon Robert Mugabe to immediately tender his resignation as the President of Zimbabwe.

“At the very advanced age of 91, it has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt, that Mugabe is way past his prime in that he failed to recognise that he was delivering the wrong speech in Parliament today. This is a sure sign of senility and grossly failing mental and physical health on the part of Mugabe.”

“It is in the best interests of the nation, therefore, that Robert Mugabe should not stay in office a day longer. The rigours of his Presidential duties have certainly taken a toll on him and he should proceed to do the honourable thing and step down from office as a matter of extreme urgency.

“Zimbabwe doesn’t deserve to be run by a nonagenarian President who, in fact, is long overdue for retirement,” the MDC-T statement added.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba said the error in delivering the wrong speech was “sincerely regretted”. He added that Mugabe would read the correct speech later at a hotel in the capital Harare.

Mugabe has resisted calls to step down despite his advancing age. In his closing remarks at the Zanu PF congress in December last year Mugabe said “I am here for as long as I am still sane, with good memory and will power.” 

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