By Bridget Mananavire and Xolisani Ncube
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe on Thursday went biblical, saying people wished to live longer but emphasised that only the spiritual life was perpetual.
In an address to mourners at the burial of Enos Nkala, a founding member of Zanu and former Cabinet minister, the 89-year-old Mugabe said people should not worry about where and how they live.
“The pastor said its only transformation (from one life to another), but pastor we are men of flesh, we live not the spiritual life, we live the physical life,” Mugabe told mourners at the National Heroes Acre.
“We want our bodies to live life long if they can sustain. It’s a wish, against God’s wish that life can be perpetual… but we live for a short period and the spiritual one is eternal.”
In an address lasting for more than one hour, Mugabe, said the shorter life on earth is the one he deems superior.
“But this short one, the one where we interact and we have the consciousness of mind, the one where we are organised, family, land… it’s the one that seems to matter more than the other,” Mugabe said.
“We have to be taught to realise that it’s the inferior life.
“We are men of flesh, if we realise we are just bundles of flesh in this life then we wouldn’t worry about where we live and how we live, but God also wants us to worry about this life, because then as we are taught if you live it in accordance to certain rules, then it will save us for the other life.”
He said it is because of the earthly worries that man fight for their rights and the reason why Zimbabwe has refused to be colonised.
Mugabe has looked increasingly to God to shore up his claim to leadership.
In power since 1980, the political firebrand and outspoken foe of the United States and Britain, has made repeated trips to Singapore for cataract treatment, the most recent of which came before his re-election.
The Zanu PF leader, spent the entire address speaking about the history of the liberation struggle and how the two personally knew each other before and after independence.
Mugabe appeared strong and fired-up during the presidential campaign, and managed to win another term that extends to 2018.
Meanwhile, some official from Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC attended Nkala’s funeral. Sekai Holland, outgoing MDC minister of National Healing said her party paid tribute to Nkala, whom she said had fought a democratic struggle.
“The (MDC) Guardian Council is here from the party in our personal capacities, the democratic struggle that was waged and won through the liberation goes on,” Holland said.
“Multiparty democracy is part of the democratic struggle there is no contradiction.”
“So I am a proud MDC member as the chair of the Guardian Council and we are here to pay tribute to a liberation hero that’s all. Even (James) Makore who worked with him a lot is here with me.”
She said she had had the opportunity of personally working with Nkala.
“I first met Nkala when he was released from prison. After 10 years of incarceration, we met at the Mulungushi Village (in Zambia).
“I was the representative of the party in the Australian and Asian region, and when we met them in Mulungushi Village; it was the first time that the Central Committee, the Dare Rechimurenga and the diplomatic men met as the Chimurenga General Council. It was in 1974,” she said. Daily News