Mugabe gave wrong speech to parliament - spokesperson

2015-09-15 18:04
(City Press)

(City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - President Robert Mugabe read out the wrong speech at the opening of parliament on Tuesday, his spokesperson has confirmed.

George Charamba said in a statement to the official Herald newspaper: "There has been a mix-up of speeches resulting in a situation where the president delivered the wrong speech."

The state broadcaster had taken the significant step of not broadcasting the proceedings live, following threats from opposition MPs that they would heckle the 91-year-old leader, so the fact that he had given the wrong speech did not emerge immediately.

But there had been hints already that something not quite right had happened.

Clarkson Mambo, a local journalist, tweeted at midday: "Speech is done but am confused. Most issues talked about same as in #Sona2015." Sona refers to Mugabe's State of the Nation address in parliament in August, when he was heckled by opposition MPs.

Charamba blamed a mix-up in the president's secretary's office.

"The mix-up happened in his secretarial office, therefore the delivery in parliament should be set aside. The error is sincerely regretted and corrective measures are being considered," he was quoted as saying in an online update to the Herald.

There are reports that Mugabe was to deliver his speech at a formal luncheon to mark the opening of parliament later on Tuesday. 

The ageing president, who has been in power since 1980, generally appears in good health though he is occasionally photographed snoozing - or appearing to - at formal events.

Legislator Jessie Majome said in a post to Facebook that she had "hardly heard" Mugabe's opening address to parliament because she was distracted by death threats she had received earlier in the day.

"I have received a death threat at 1013hrs and another one at 1135hrs on my Econet line from 'Death' saying 'Warning!! Immunity ends in Parliament. If you step outside you become an ordinary citizen. Do the wise thing and not disturb proceedings in Parliament."

She named five other opposition MPs that she said had also received death threats. The Harare West MP said Mugabe's speech was heard "in deathly silence". 

Majome posted:"Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death I shall not fear for thou art with me and thy shield and thy staff comfort me still."

Criticising or insulting Mugabe can still lead to arrest. The state broadcaster has often been slammed by the opposition for its perceived bias though government loyalists point out that sections of the private press are equally biased in favour of the opposition.

Well-known rights activist Takura Zhangazha tweeted: "Whatever pretence we have as Zimbabweans at democracy today was put to rest with state media's blackout of parliament's opening."

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.