A video of a Zimbabwean young man “dramatising” how President Robert Mugabe struggled to walk at the just-ended 72 nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York has gone viral on social media.
The video clip sent tongues wagging in the southern African country, with many of the nation’s citizens suggesting that the 93-year-old leader was no longer fit for purpose.
The unidentified “drama king” had since earned himself the nickname “Mugabe challenger”.
Following the nonagenarian’s infamous video in which he was shown struggling to walk to the podium to give his address at UNGA, many in Zimbabwe questioned Mugabe’s ability to continue as leader of the country.
Some of Mugabe’s critics took to social media trading jokes about the nonagenarian’s staggering.
Valentine Motsi, a Harare based social commentator said Mugabe’s old age and his frailty had now become a source of entertainment for many Zimbabweans.
“You can see that there was some creativity in the video that this young man did imitating how the president struggled to get to the podium at the UN,” said Motsi.
“However it is a serious concern to many Zimbabweans that we have such an old leader who does not want to hand over power to a young person,” said Motsi.
Prominent Zimbabwean comedian Silvanos Mudzvova currently based in the United Kingdom said the comic video by “Mugabe Challenger” was a sign of frustration amongst many Zimbabweans.
“When you see such young people dramatising the way an old president walks, then it means that they have lost respect for their leader. It’s also a form of resistance to the way they are being governed which is a feeling among many Zimbabweans,” said Mudzvova.
“If that young man was to perform his 30 second skit in the streets of Zimbabwe he would be arrested because there is a lot of repression in the country, it doesn’t matter that the young man did not say anything in the video but many Zimbabweans can easily relate it to Mugabe, it is a video that says a lot in a few seconds.”
Mudzvova himself has had a brush with the law for his comic exploits that exposed the inadequacies of the Mugabe administration and the collapse of the country’s economy.
Mugabe has failed to groom a successor in his 37 years in office. His ruling Zanu-PF party was sharply divided into two distinct factions battling to outwit each other in the race to succeed the veteran leader when he eventually leaves office.
Despite signs of failing health and old age, Mugabe, who often visited Singapore for medical attention, has vowed to cling to power saying he would continue as head of state for as long as he was still sane. His party has already endorsed him as its presidential candidate in general elections scheduled for next year.
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