PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe needed assistance from First Lady Grace to walk up and down the podium during proceedings to lay to rest national hero and former High Court judge Andrew Mutema.
A jaded looking Mugabe, 91, had to take a few breaks to walk the just over hundred metres from his car to the high table with Grace holding his hand.
Mugabe admitted he is feeling his age.
“After the Chaplin General (Joseph Nyakudya) spoke about us having plans but some of them not coming to fruition. I was shocked it is not something we think of every day but we have plans of what we would want to do or to happen.
“Mutema was a young man and believe you me I know what I am talking about when I say he as young. I am 91 and soon to be 92,” Mugabe said leaving his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa giggling.
As if that was not enough, Mugabe who early this year took an embarrassing tumble while coming down a short flight of stairs at the Harare International Airport, was not taking any chances.
His aides made a human wall around him as the nonagenarian made his way to the graveside and Grace was there to hold him amid another stop down the probably five stairs.
Grace was not around when Mugabe fell at the airport and reports indicated that she was incandescent with anger following the incident which reportedly claimed the jobs of a few of the president’s close security aides.
While his handlers have insisted the Zanu PF leader is as fit as a fiddle, Mugabe’s body posture show a man very much being dragged to events with his body in evident protest as he struggles to walk.
The veteran leader’s speeches are now slurred and he uncharacteristically says very little outside the prepared texts.