Yesterday, a visibly shaking Mugabe was helped to manoeuvre the steps up and down the podium where he conferred degrees while seated. Mugabe, who is known to make long speeches, did not say much at the function.
In one instance he referred to Chinhoyi University of Technology as Chinhoyi College much to the embarrassment of his learned colleagues at the high table.
Realising that his sharp memory was now fading away, he was seen constantly referring to the prepared paper. In his heyday the President, who boasts of many degrees and a sharp intellect, would not turn to papers for such simple detail.
Most people who attended the graduation ceremony were surprised by the snail’s pace in which the President was walking, leaving many in the audience wondering why he should not retire.
A graduate who refused to be identified for fear of victimisation said it is evident that the President is past his prime and advised parliament to force him to retire.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe allows Parliament to relieve the President of his duties if they see that he is incapacitated in any way.
Away from President Mugabe’s healthy woes, there was singing and jubilation as more than 300 students’ graduated.
— By Nunurai Jena