Higher and Tertiary Education minister Stan Mudenge’s health came under the spotlight after he slept at the top table leaving many amazed at the event of the official opening and handover of a $525 000 primary school by former President of Mozambique Joachim Chissano to the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture.
Mudenge who had difficulty walking from his official car missed most of the proceedings and was at one point left alone “sleeping” at the high table while the other invited dignitaries accompanied Chissano in officially opening Mtshingwe Primary School which was built by Mimosa Mine as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Mudenge struggled to get to his feet for the second time when he was called upon by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to stand and greet the people of Zvishavane raising fears about his health which has been under media scrutiny.
“Where is Stan?” Mnangagwa asked. “Stand up so that people can see you . . . aah, I guess he is now tired. He doesn’t want to stand up.”
Although Zanu PF ministers have been caught on camera napping on several occasions, Mudenge did not just nap but actually slept throughout the entire proceedings as he struggled to muster enough energy to stay awake.
While Mnangagwa chanted party slogans with clenched fists at an official government and business function which was also attended by the Minister of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sekai Holland, Mudenge struggled to clench his fists and instead chanted Zanu PF slogans with an open palm to the amazement of many who had gathered for the function.
The function was heavily politicised with Chissano also chanting a Zanu PF slogan before delivering a vote of thanks. Holland was effectively “edited” out of the programme.
On the sidelines Holland said building schools was part of the national healing process and seemed unfazed that she was not given the podium to speak to the rural people of Zvishavane people which is a Zanu PF stronghold.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa has added a new line to the Zanu PF slogans to reinforce his Christian status.
Before introducing Chissano, the Minister of Defence raised his fist into the air and shouted: “Pamberi naJesu (Forward with Jesus).”
The minister recently said he had transformed from a path of destruction and killing to the path of light and Christ.
“For those of us comrades who were taught to destroy and kill and have seen the light in the last days of our life, will die in Christ as our rewards are in heaven,” he said recently.