Robert Mugabe Disappears!! Cabinet Cancelled...
No one is entirely sure where Robert "The Solution" Mugabe is right now. No minister can reach him. Vice-president Mujuru is Acting President, as the state media keeps telling us. She will also officiate at the burial of Richard Hove at Heroes Acre tomorrow, which will be one of the extremely rare occasions when Mugabe has failed to deliver a graveside speech for one of his own comrades, especially one like Hove, who has been with him since the early days of ZANU PF in exile
Harare, Zimbabwe, 24 August 2009
President Robert Mugabe has disappeared and cabinet, which was due to be held tomorrow, has been cancelled, with no minister able to reach him, although it is said only Joice Mujuru, the Acting Vice-president, is able to.
Government sources I spoke to when I was alerted to this insisted that he is "around" but confirmed that Cabinet tomorrow has been cancelled. When I asked about the failure by ministers to reach him, I got the response:
"No minister reaches the president. The president reaches the ministers, so there is nothing amiss about that."
The president who was in Namibia for a single day this past week, is said to have returned to Zimbabwe on Saturday, but has not been sighted.
Today, he was supposed to meet with Morgan Tsvangirai for their routine Monday meetings held, in Tsvangirai's words, "for me to report to him on government business", but that meeting also did not take place.
Mugabe, also missed the weekend retreat of his ministers in Nyanga, at which Tsvangirai's 100-day Wishlist (misnamed as a "plan") was being reviewed. He attended the original retreat in Victoria Falls, though.
Vice-president Mujuru, the only remaining vice-president after the death of Joseph Msika, is, as of now, still Acting President. She will officiate tomorrow at the burial of Richard Hove, the ZANU PF secretary for economic affairs.
Hove will be buried tomorrow at Heroes Acre (he has been declared a national as I predicted on this blog when news of his death broke).
As I was typing this, a colleague on their way home phoned me to tell me that they have been stopped on the road that runs behind State House (the one linking Chancellor Ave, where State House is, and Enterprise Road) by armed presidential soldiers who were "standing in the middle of the road."
The colleague later phoned to say the guards had said that they were in the process of lowering the national flag and that when they are either lowering or raising it, all persons in the vicinity "have to stop and pedestrians mus stand to attention". She was eventually let through. The road is not normally closed at any time.
Although two cabinet ministers said to me that "he was around", they also say they have not had sight of him since he left to go to the mini-summit in Namibia.
I am as anxious as you are to clear up this thing and as soon as I know one way or the other, I will post it up here, no matter what time it is. We can't have "The Solution to Zimbabwe's problems" (as Tsvangirai calls him) just going AWOL like that!