HARARE — Confined to house arrest since last Wednesday, former president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, 93, has expressed frustration with the guards assigned to his home by coup leadership.
“They are taking the good silver, I know it. I look in the kitchen drawer where the spoons are supposed to be and they are not here. They were here yesterday. I did not move them. Where are they? I will tell you. These men are stealing from me. It is that Ndebele one, he is no good,” said Mugabe, staring daggers in the direction of staffer John Ufunani, a member of the minority Ndebele tribe.
Asked to comment, Ufunani said simply, “Mr. Mugabe prefers to eat his oatmeal with the silver and ivory utensils. They are currently in the wash. Which reminds me, if you will excuse me.” Ufunani was then heard calling upstairs to Mugabe to inform him that it was “bath time.”
Mugabe, in power since 1980 and until recently the world’s oldest ruler, privately expressed particular irritation when “those men” had him read a camera-recorded speech. “It is a diversion so they can steal something else from me, I know it! Probably my best yellow-patterned suit.”
According to former First Lady Grace Mugabe, 52, the former dictator has complained constantly, and “it just isn’t cute anymore.”
Newly instated President Emmerson Mnangagwa could not be reached for comment, but his office released a statement stating only, “Mr. Mugabe needs his rest.”