Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bob Fumes, bumps mike as hecklers jeer

"You killed people, we know that," a yell came from the MDC backbench.

"We are together in the struggle, no amount of beatings and killings will deter us," they sang.

At some point Mr Mugabe raised his head, face shaken, and then proceeded with his speech.

Some minutes later, however, he accidentally knocked down the microphone.

It was certainly not the Zimbabwean octogenarian's usual performance.
clipped from
Robert Mugabe's picture hangs at the entrance of the parliament building as a guard of honour stand during the opening ceremony in Harare, 26 August 2008

Loud jeers and howls accompanied President Robert Mugabe's address to Zimbabwe's newly convened parliament, leaving ruling party members fuming.

Mr Mugabe drove to the house in an open Rolls Royce, accompanied by horse-mounted police.

Singing party supporters, bussed in to give the occasion colour, welcomed him as the car drew in.

The elite presidential guard stood to attention for their commander-in-chief.

The most-decorated military generals followed behind him as he inspected the guard, resplendent in their military gear, who promised to salute him till death.

Inside parliament, it was a different story.

As Mr Mugabe sauntered into the building, a green stately cloth across his shoulders, his Zanu-PF legislators to the left of the house stood up as a mark of respect for their head of state, their party leader.

Military generals, then judges in their colonial red gowns and pink wigs, followed closely behind.

But what must have staggered Mr Mugabe was that the MDC MPs remained seated.

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