President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson and the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity, George Charamba has said that Mugabe was unconcerned about the solidarity marches which took place across the country on Saturday. The marches which were attended by tens of thousands of people were held in order to demand that Mugabe should step down and to tell regional bloc SADC not to interfere in Zimbabwe’s political processes. Charamba said that during the march, Mugabe appeared upbeat and was munching corn while chatting about the old days. Speaking to the Financial Times, Charamba said:
He was talking about his school days in the 1930s and anthropology and how it impacted on the colonial perception of Africans and their intellect
In the midst of such a highly charged intellectual conversation, we were munching corn, Oh my God, he was very upbeat and chatty.
Charamba also justified the military takeover by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ saying their actions were not a coup but were meant to:
…free the president and their commander-in-chief from what they consider negative elements that have been hanging around and that have been responsible for misdirecting him.
They are not challenging the president’s authority, they are not challenging the president’s role.
He also said Mugabe dismissed the marches saying:
What we see in the streets is just atmospherics
More: The Financial Times