Zimbabwe MPs recalled to parliament after Mugabe gaffe

Politicians recalled for special sitting a day after president accidentally repeats speech he gave last month.

Mugabe apparently gave 25-minute speech not knowing he had given the exact same one last month [AP]

Zimbabwean politicians have been recalled for a special sitting a day after President Robert Mugabe delivered the wrong speech at the opening session of parliament. 

Robert Mugabe: A man of contrasts

The government-owned Herald newspaper said all parliamentarians were required to attend Wednesday afternoon’s session called by Mugabe. 

The 91-year-old leader on Tuesday gave the same speech he delivered at a state of the nation address in August.

The Herald and other state-owned media outlets later published the intended speech, which announced restrictions on imports, land reforms and measures to protect employees from unfair dismissal.

Common mistake

The newspaper’s editor, Tichaona Zindoga, defended the mix-up in an editorial entitled “Speech mix-ups: Common era”.

“President Mugabe’s delivery of a wrong speech in parliament yesterday is a fairly common mistake that leaders make at local and international forums,” Zindoga said.

“Interestingly, even the most powerful leaders in America and Europe have not been immune to the false step,” he wrote, before incorrectly recalling an incident where “Obama read the speech of the Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen”.

In 2009, Cowen had accidentally read out 20 seconds of the US President’s speech after a teleprompter failed to load correctly.

Zindoga further refers to Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, who he says was “noted, rather notoriously” for making mistakes during speeches.

Mugabe, a former Marxist rebel leader, fought against British colonial rule and has been the country’s leader since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1980.


Source: Al Jazeera