Zimbabwe

Mugabe says he's lonely

2013-03-05 14:35
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe greets supporters during celebrations to mark his 89th birthday in Bindura. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe greets supporters during celebrations to mark his 89th birthday in Bindura. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

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Cape Town – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says he now feels lonely at home and in government as he is now surrounded by "small people" he cannot relate to on an equal footing because of age difference, a report said.

According to News Day, Mugabe, 89, said the only person who came closer to him on maturity and age was the Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and described other cabinet members like Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu and Information Communication Technology minister Nelson Chamisa as "kids".

Mutasa, born in 1935, is 11 years Mugabe’s junior, while Shamu and Chamisa are 67 and 33 years old, respectively.

". . . They are gone [his age-mates] and those who remain, you look down upon them because they are young. They have not had the same experience, the same length of life and, therefore, the same advantage of gathering as much knowledge and experience as yourself,"Mugabe said.

"And so you can’t discuss with them things that happened in the 1930s or even 1950s. They will not know. There is that limitation,” Mugabe said in an interview with Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to mark his 89th birthday.

Africa's oldest leader

"You take my cabinet as it is, there is no one I can talk to about how we used to approach girls or we would go to this and that place, riding bicycles. There is no one."

"There are others like Mutasa. He comes close, but others are just children, the likes of Shamu, Chamisa. You feel that loneliness. You have lost others and sometimes you think of it and it makes you very lonely."

Mugabe who is married to his 47-year-old former secretary Grace said there was no one even in the family who could give proper advice as most rely on him as the elder.

"The consoling part of it is that, well fine, there are young ones and young minds you can talk to. You can also try to educate, you can also try to relate a bit of history to and so on and so forth. But they remain young ones who listen much more than they share ideas with you," Mugabe said.

Africa's oldest leader and the world’s second oldest after Shimon Peres of Israel, Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

Mugabe has lost several close colleagues in his party including Vice-Presidents Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, Simon Muzenda, Joseph Msika and lately John Landa Nkomo.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  nelson chamisa  |  didymus mutasa  |  robert mugabe  |  john nkomo  |  shimon peres  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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