By Lance Guma
The leader of the smaller MDC formation Professor Welshman Ncube has claimed that ZANU PF’s 88 year old leader Robert Mugabe sleeps during meetings of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Speaking at a campaign rally in Filabusi on Saturday, Ncube told his supporters that at last week’s SADC summit in Mozambique Mugabe dozed off during the meeting and was only woken up by Zambian President Michael Sata.
“The question is not about the retention of Mugabe, even at the SADC meetings he sleeps. If you are strong and young, you sleep in a dignified way, but his whole body collapses when he sleeps,” Ncube was quoted as saying.
The Industry and Commerce Minister said: “You sleep to a point that you are woken up by an equally old Sata as early as 9am, who would tell other leaders that let us wake Mugabe he is sleeping. You think that person can rule Zimbabwe?
“We should not be talking about ZANU PF, the question is when we remove Mugabe, who we will replace him with? We need fresh leaders with power and strength who you do not have to look at and check if they are still awake,” he added.
Last week ZANU PF’s Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo lashed out at Ncube, alleging that he had breached his ‘ministerial oath’ by leaking details of the SADC summit. On Monday, MDC (Ncube) spokesman Nhlanhla Dube told SW Radio Africa that Ncube did not go there as a minister, but as leader of the MDC.
Nearly two years ago Finance Minister Tendai Biti also told a campaign rally that Mugabe sleeps through important meetings. “I had a meeting with President Robert Mugabe and he slept for the better part of the meeting,” he claimed.
Biti added that Mugabe was “now tired” and should leave office. “A person who was born in 1980 will be 31 years next year but he only knows one President (Mugabe),” he said at the time.
“People like Samora Machel (Mozambique), Joachim Chissano (Mozambique), Nelson Mandela (South Africa) and Thabo Mbeki (South Africa) have come and gone, but he (Mugabe) is still there. We need a new beginning,” he added.
According to a leaked 2008 US diplomatic cable, central bank chief Gideon Gono told then-US ambassador James McGee that Mugabe had prostate cancer and had been advised by doctors he had less than five years to live (up to 2013). SW Radio Africa
NB: SW Radio Africa has invited Welshman Ncube to discuss recent developments at the SADC summit which saw him recognised as a legitimate ‘Principal’ in the coalition government.
Listeners can send in their questions in advance of the interview using Facebook, Twitter or Skype by typing LanceGuma, on e-mail [email protected] and in Zimbabwe you can text +263 772643871.