President Robert Mugabe yesterday poked fun at Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara saying had it not been that Zimbabwe has a good education system, the former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) student leader would have remained “a mad man” he was back then.
Addressing delegates at the launch of the Science Technology and Innovation Policy in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said Mutambara used to behave like a “mad man” during his student activism days, but had transformed into an intellectual of note.
“Ten years ago we were here. In between lots of things happened, lots of technology and people have become much more sophisticated,” he said.
“I don’t know what Professor Mutambara was doing then in 2002. He used to be a mad man at University (of Zimbabwe),” Mugabe said.
“That education has its effects on persons. It gives them that essence of dignity. It makes an individual that would have been just a lump of flesh get to an intellectual level much more advanced than he was born with.”
In reference to Mutambara, Mugabe said: “It adapts you and you become mature, more polished, more loveable, and more handsome. There you are, but remember how you used to behave during your university days.”
Mugabe also said: “While we are very happy with the linkages that we have with friendly countries around the world, we are aware that some countries are hostile to our interests as manifested in the abrupt cutting of collaboration linkages in the past. I remain hopeful that our continued negotiations with the international community will result in the total removal of illegal sanctions.”
Earlier Mutambara urged Mugabe to dump the Zanu PF party slogan “Land is the Economy and the Economy is Land” and adopt “Science and Technology is the Economy and the Economy is Science and Technology.”
Mutambara led several violent protests at the UZ when he was a student leader between 1989 and the early 1990s leading to his arrest and imprisonment.
The launch was attended by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, DPM Thokozani Khupe, several ministers from all the political parties and MPs, among other guests.