PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe was yesterday driven in a Toyota Land Cruiser V8 to Lupane State University (LSU), where he capped 62 students, amid unconfirmed reports his Bulawayo Mercedes Benz official vehicle had developed a mechanical fault.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma Staff Reporter
Mugabe, travelling by helicopter from Harare, landed at Somhlolo ground at Lupane Centre and was led into the parked Land Cruiser for the short trip to the venue of the graduation ceremony.
Sources said Mugabe’s Mercedes Benz developed a fault two weeks ago while the Zanu PF leader was in Victoria Falls for the official opening of the diamond conference, forcing him to use a Range Rover.
Efforts to get a comment from the President’s spokesperson George Charamba were unsuccessful.
Among the graduands capped by Mugabe were Deputy Minister of Public Service Andrew Langa, who graduated with an Honours Degree in Development Studies, and Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo, who graduated with a Master’s Degree in Development Studies.
Mugabe also adopted a Grade Seven pupil at Lupane Primary School, Pauline Zireni, and pledged to pay for her education.
Pauline recited an impressive poem to Mugabe about the importance of trees before introducing a mahogany tree that the President planted at the university as part of the National Tree Planting Day. Mugabe, impressed by the girl’s poem, named the tree after Pauline.
Speaking at the ceremony earlier, LSU Vice-Chancellor McLean Bhala said the university was working on irrigation infrastructure in Dete where students in the Crop Science Department were carrying out practicals and plans were underway to convert it into an income-generating project.