HARARE (Web Desk) – Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has read out the wrong speech at the opening of parliament.
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He gave the same one during his state-of-the-nation address on 25 August, when he was heckled by opposition MPs.
His spokesman told the state-run Herald paper the error was because of a mix-up in the president’s secretarial office.
Tensions were high ahead of the speech and the state broadcaster cancelled its live feed fearing further disruptions, the BBC reported.
At least six MPs from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) received a text message from a sender called “Death” warning them to behave.
“Warning: Immunity ends in parliament… act wisely by not disturbing the proceedings of parliament,” the message on opposition MP Nelson Chamisa’s phone said.
Before the 91-year-old president spoke, the parliamentary speaker also warned against disrupting proceedings.
After Mr Mugabe began speaking, it was not long before it dawned on those present that they had heard it all before.
But during the speech, the MDC members sat quietly, while ruling Zanu-PF party supporters clapped at regular intervals.
The president made reference to the country amending labour laws to protect workers from arbitrary termination of employment, efforts being made to stimulate investment and the country registering modest growth in tourism and agriculture.
The first time Mr Mugabe read the speech opposition MPs sang protest songs against his 10-point plan to solve the country’s economic crisis.
Presidential spokesman George Charamba said the error in delivering the wrong speech was “sincerely regretted”.
He added that the president would read the correct speech later at a hotel in the capital Harare.
Famous Speech Bloopers
Here are some other world-famous political speech bloopers with a dash of humour on the side:
- “With the additional steps I ordered last month, we’re speeding up training of ISIL forces.” – US President Barack Obama (July 2015)
- “I stand by all the misstatements.” – Dan Quayle, defending himself against criticism for making verbal gaffes
- “China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.” – Charles de Gaulle, ex-French president
- “I want to make sure everybody who has a job wants a job” – George Bush, during his first presidential campaign
- “This is a great day for France!” – Richard Nixon, while attending Charles De Gaulle’s funeral
- “I am honoured today to begin my first term as the Governor of Baltimore – that is Maryland.” – William Donald Schaefer, first inaugural address
- “My fellow Americans, I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” – Ronald Reagan
- “During my service in the US Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.’’ – Al Gore