PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Thursday took time to reflect on the harshness of mortality and lamented the fact that people could not live forever as he buried a liberation war colleague at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
The Zanu PF leader turned 89 this year but brushes aside concern over his advanced age and reports of failing health. He has insisted he would serve out his new five year-term in office after winning elections held last month.
But addressing thousands mourners who attended Zanu PF co-founder and former cabinet minister, Enos Nkala’s funeral at the national shrine – the second time Mugabe has presided over a state funeral this week alone with another one due on Saturday – the veteran leader suggested he was aware that it may not be long before his own number is up.
“We are men of flesh. We live not the spiritual life; we live the physical life. We want our bodies to live as long as they can be sustained (but) it’s a wish against God’s wish,” he said.
“But we continue to wish that life should be long, life should be perpetual. He says no, it is only a temporary matter. You live for a short period and the spiritual one is the eternal.
“But this short one – the one where we interact and we have the consciousness of our minds, the one where we are organised – family, clan, tribe, nation – is the one that seems to matter more to most of us.
“We have got to be taught to realise that no it’s the inferior life to the other. But alas, the mind does not quite accept that. We are man of flesh. If we realised we are just bundles of flesh on this life then we wouldn’t worry about the niceties; we would worry very much about where we live, how we live.
“But no, God doesn’t worry about this life because then as we are told if you live it in accordance with certain tenets and rules then it would have prepared you for the life hereafter.”
Nkala, who was 81, died from organ failure at a private Harare hospital last Tuesday. His funeral followed that of top military officer and independence war hero, retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai, last Sunday.
Mugabe is set to return to the national shrine again Saturday to bury another liberation veteran and former cabinet minister Kumbirai Kangai who died last Saturday after collapsing at his Harare home.