Originally published in NewsDay
In a rare display of political tolerance, President Robert Mugabe yesterday put aside political differences and heaped praises on his rivals in the MDC parties.
In the past, Mugabe has used most of his public appearances to lambast his Zanu PFs political opponents, accusing them of being agents of imperialists determined to bring about regime change in Zimbabwe.
But yesterday, speaking at the commissioning of the Landa John Nkomo High School, Mugabe seemed to be on a charm offensive. The school is to cater mainly for children of the largely marginalized San community.
Mugabe sent Tsholotsho villagers into stitches when he said he always had Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe (MDC-T) on his mind.
I noticed that even Vice- President Nkomo omitted her in the introductions. I cannot forget her because she is always on my mind, chuckled the President. She dresses meticulously. How can anyone forget a person of such charm, a very charming lady indeed?
Turning to Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart, Mugabe said: You are among us from the white race. When we started the inclusive government, I wondered if he would actually fit in.
I said to myself it is the challenge on the part of a person like him to be amongst many blacks and had to be looked down upon by others who would ask what he is doing working with a terrible dictator like Robert Mugabe, he said.
Mugabe said when the inclusive government was established they were not sure whether, the other partners in the GPA would work in common purpose.
He said there was realisation that despite coming from different political parties, they were all Zimbabweans working for the interests of the country.
Mugabe described Information Communication Technology minister Nelson Chamisa as having so much wisdom for his age.
We call him the youngest among us and we wonder why at this age before his hair turns grey, he has the wisdom of the elders. He said he read the books that we read and we encourage him to go forward, he said.
Mugabe commended Nkomo for building the school using his own resources.
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