VICE-PRESIDENTS Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko took turns to shower President Robert Mugabe with praises, leading a bootlicking chorus moments before the 90-year-old leader’s infamous fall from a podium at the Harare International Airport on Wednesday.
The two described Mugabe as “mountain of mountains”, “head above all heads” and a “cistern of wisdom”, among other terms, in what observers said was taking the bootlicking of the president a notch higher.
In his welcome remarks, Mnangagwa said Africa was in for sound leadership from Mugabe, adding that with him at the helm, colonialism would be a thing of the past.
“As Zimbabwe, we are proud. You have your head above all heads, you are a mountain of mountains,” he fawned before Mugabe took to the podium.
“I want you to greet the people and tell them who rules Africa.
“I saw you sitting in your AU office and said, ‘now listen, the man is now running Africa’.
“Your first statement was to say Africa is for Africans and that is the spirit of the founding fathers.”
Mphoko, in a bid to compete with Mnangagwa ordered bussed Zanu PF supporters with placards to raise them up and took his time to read them one by one.
He then concluded that all the information written on the placards was a true reflection of the “iconic” president.
“I want to teach you this slogan, if I say ‘dura reruzivo’ (cistern of wisdom) you say VaMugabe,” Mphoko said.
Bootlicking has been the art of survival in Zanu PF, with Mugabe in most instances being the recipient of statements to praise him for his “visionary leadership, iconic wisdom”, among other expressions.
Most notable instances where senior government officials showered Mugabe with praises include when he was likened to powdered milk “Cremora” by former party secretary for the commissariat Webster Shamu while Transport minister Obert Mpofu reportedly signed off his letters to Mugabe as “your ever-obedient son”.
The late Zanu PF legislator, Tony Gara, once described Mugabe as God’s “only other son”, as the president is increasingly being deified.