Opposition parliamentarian Godfrey Sithole of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai says Zimbabweans are worried about President Robert Mugabe’s state of health following reports that he is now struggling to walk.
According to a parliamentary newsletter, the Hansard, Sithole expressed concern about the president’s health when he posed a question to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in parliament yesterday in which he quizzed him about the Zimbabwean leader’s recent stumble at a recent trip to India.
“I will direct my question to the Vice President Hon Mnangagwa and it is based on the disturbing media reports concerning the health of the president viz-a-viz the events that happened in India at the airport. Can the vice president inform the House and the nation at large on the state of health of the president of the nation?”
In his response, Mnangagwa said, without elaboration, the president is healthier than Sithole.
“Madam Speaker, I assure the Hon. Member that the president is healthier than him.”
Sithole, who says the country needs a leader to stir it from its current social, economic and political problems, told VOA Studio 7 his question was genuine as Zimbabweans are worried about Mr. Mugabe’s health.
“I had to ask that question because Zimbabwe has actually declined in terms of the economy and also the political environment has deteriorated under the leadership of President Mugabe … And this is attributable to his old age.
“He needs to rest and make sure that he passes the baton stick to the young generation.
Sithole noted that the president’s stumbles are due to his old age. “In my personal opinion this is because of his old age. This can be solved if he retires.”
But Zanu PF member, Effort Nkomo, says Sithole’s question was unjustified.
Mr. Mugabe fell at Zimbabwe’s international airport a couple of months ago and also appeared in some videos almost stumbling a few days ago when he met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 summit in the European nation.
Mr. Mugabe has in power since 1980 when Zimbabwe attained independence from British rule.