President Robert Mugabe was yesterday given a black and gold glittering gown which once belonged to slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. This happened during the official opening of the rescheduled 2011 Chiefs Council conference in Bulawayo.
The national chairman of the House of Traditional Elders in Kenya, Kamlesh Mandoo Patti, handed the gown saying he got it from Gaddafi before he died.
Patti, of Indian extraction, anointed Mugabe as the next Chief of Africa after Gaddafi.
I got the gown from Gaddafi before he died, he claimed. So after his death Mugabe is the only African leader who deserves to have it.
Mugabe is the next African chief . . . so I am handing this gown to Mugabe, said Patti amid loud cheers from the chiefs.
Patti, after his brief solidarity speech, handed the gown to Mugabe.
But Mugabe had a slight touch of the gown as Chief Fortune Charumbira, the President of the Chiefs Council, quickly took it away. Mugabe and Patti briefly exchanged pleasantries before hugging each other and the Kenyan chief wished the veteran leader many more years.
Patti, in his brief solidarity message, said he got the gown from Gaddafi who had great passion for Africa and appreciated traditional leaders.
In his last years, Gaddafi used to gather African kings, princes, sultans, sheikhs and traditional leaders in Libya and shower them with gifts.
The Libyan leader, whose pet subject was always the dream for a United States of Africa, turned to traditional leaders for support.
Chief Charumbira in September 2010 attended one such gathering in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
He was among traditional leaders who included Prince Xhanti Sigcawu of the Xhosa Kingdom of South Africa, his brother Prince Ahlangene, Zulu princes Thulani and Mbonisi, Kwame Nkurumahs only daughter Samia, Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako and Chief Liswani III.
Gaddafi was killed last October during an assault on his birthplace of Sirte after being in power for 42 years during which he was accused of being a dictator.
Meanwhile, Mugabe told the chiefs the country must go for elections without a new constitution.
The Global Political Agreement (GPA) was never meant to go for more than two years, he claimed.
The reason why we had the GPA was not that we didnt have a constitution. It was about the alleged violence.
Our neighbours had said do another election in peace. We were to have another election without violence and not have another constitution.
The issue was not about a new constitution. It was about an election without violence. If this dragging of feet continues, our party will not stand this. Last year in our conference, our party (Zanu PF) resolved that in the year 2012, we must have an election, Mugabe added.
The veteran ruler is headed on a collision course with regional leaders over their insistence that Zimbabwe must adopt a new constitution before fresh polls. South African President Jacob Zuma is expected in the country in the next few days to discuss the election roadmap.
The 88-year-old leader also took a swipe at gays saying the West should not destroy nature by encouraging homosexuality.
What man is there to change nature and make a man a woman and woman a man?
I want to see that man who has the power to make men pregnant for nine months, he said.
Can the devil do it with his devilish tricks? No, he cant. Who are the Europeans to try it? They want to destroy nature.
Even pigs know that there are men and women among them, she and he, he and she. So let us never ever be made to accept homosexuality.
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