HARARE – President Robert Mugabe made another embarassing gaffe at the weekend when he claimed that this year’s edition of the 21st February Movement held in Victoria Falls on Saturday had somehow coincided with his 21st birthday.

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The clanger, the latest in a long line of other recent faux pas, left many attendees at his outrageously extravagant birthday bash red-faced.

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Observers have said more than $1 million was blown up at the jamboree which was televised on ZTV all day and night on Saturday, at a time when the majority of Zimbabweans are wallowing in abject poverty.

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“Once again, I thank you for the support, blessings, and gifts that you all bring as we come together to celebrate the 21st February Movement, which, this year, coincides with my 21st birthday,” Mugabe said at his party.

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Medical experts said yesterday that his gaffes were normal for “a

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91-year-old” — a time at which many people in that age bracket apparently suffer from serious dementia.

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Mugabe sounded tired and sometimes somewhat disoriented in his televised interview with ZTV last week.

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During Zanu PF’s disputed congress in December last year, he stunned the more than 12 000 delegates after he mistakenly denounced his party saying “pasi neZanu PF (down with Zanu PF)”.

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This came after his 49-year-old wife Grace had ordered him off the podium, following which he also admitted that the First Lady often told him what to do, even at their plush Harare home.

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“My wife has written a note; she says I’m talking too much. That’s how I am treated even at home, so I must listen,” he said before walking off the podium to much uneasiness among the gathered delegates.

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A few weeks later, Mugabe was at it again, this time mistakenly referring to Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko as the new president as he was swearing him in, along with the other deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and 11 ministers at State House.

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Just before the congress, Mugabe had suffered a serious lapse of concentration, damagingly blurting out that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had garnered 73 percent of the disputed 2008 presidential vote. – Daily News