In Brief

Mugabe urged to stand down after reading wrong speech

The 91-year old Zimbabwean president repeated a 25-minute address he gave to parliament last month

President Robert Mugabe is facing growing calls to resign after he read the wrong speech at the opening of parliament this week.

The 91-year old Zimbabwean leader delivered a 25-minute address without realising he had given the same speech last month, prompting claims from opponents that he is not fit to hold office.

"The fact that he went on and on and on up until the very end, shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mugabe is too old," said Obert Gutu, a spokesman for Movement for Democratic Change.

"The rigours of his presidential office are too much for him, and ... at the advanced age of 91 [he] should do the honourable thing and step down from office."

Mugabe's office apologised for the incident and said the mix-up was due to a mistake made in the president's secretarial office, the BBC reports.

The opening of parliament was also overshadowed by reported death threats sent to several MDC members. Six opposition MPs received text messages from an unknown sender called ‘Death’.

The messages read: "Warning: Immunity ends in parliament... act wisely by not disturbing the proceedings of parliament."

Before Mugabe delivered his address, the parliamentary speaker warned MPs against disrupting proceeding after the opposition booed, heckled and sang protest songs during his last address.

But during today's speech, the opposition ministers remained silent while ruling ZANU-PF party supporters clapped at regular intervals, according to Reuters.

Africa’s oldest leader shows no sign of illness despite his age, and continues to deny rumours of prostate cancer.

Earlier this year, Mugabe tripped and fell over at an event in Harare. He was unharmed, but his security personal forced journalists at the scene to delete pictures and video of the fall, while his information minister denied the incident ever happened.

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