WATCH: Mugabe bows to own portrait: DURING Independence Day celebrations in Harare on Monday, President Robert Mugabe was captured reportedly bowing to a portrait of himself while inspecting the guard.
In this Al Jazeera YouTube video below, the 92-year-old veteran leader is seen driving around the National Stadium in Harare in an open top van before what appears to be the moment he bows to his iconic portrait.
Thousands of Zimbabweans flocked to the National Stadium in the capital for the country’s main Independence Day celebrations, 36 years after the Zimbabwe flag was raised.
Mugabe’s action, however, brings into focus recent accusssations of narcissism on his part.
As recent as four weeks ago, a senior editor at the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper accused Mugabe of being “delusional about his self-importance”.
“If people really needed any evidence of how President Robert Mugabe is so hopelessly detached from reality and also delusional about his importance, his speech at a rally in Bindura on Friday last week provided it abundance.
“Listening to Mugabe leaves one with a distinct feeling that he is living in his own world or another planet.
“Mugabe thinks he is indispensible. He has now deteriorated in his thought process to an extent where he thinks if he goes Zimbabwe is doomed. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is sad that he does not even realise that the longer he stays the more the country is doomed. This is not just ridiculous but tragic,” wrote Faith Zava on 24 March 2016.
Then came the zinger. “Mugabe’s narcissistic attitude,” wrote Zava, “is such that he always thinks only about himself and sees himself as a victim. He avoids taking any responsibility whatsoever for the economic and political mess he has caused in the country, blaming everyone else but himself.”
She added: “Mugabe’s narcissism is not difficult to understand. It is the product of a personality cult built around him by his bootlickers, who never dare tell him the truth and have always made him to believe that he is the wisest person in the country and that his word is gospel no matter how preposterous. Mugabe’s incompetence makes a mockery of the seven degrees he obtained, including one unbelievably in economics.”
Writing in the New Yorker of August 1 2013, Jon Lee Anderson said “Mugabe’s track record, even more than his poisonous narcissism, belies the conviction that he alone deserves to rule his birthplace. In the course of his long and twisting career, Mugabe has repeatedly bedeviled his critics and outsmarted his foes, apparently for the sole purpose of continuing to govern.”
Anderson then quoted Mugabe: “The 89 years don’t mean anything. They haven’t changed me, have they? They haven’t withered me, they haven’t made me senile yet, no. I still have ideas, ideas that need to be accepted by my people.”