President Emmerson Mnangagwa often touts his Christian faith when speaking publicly. He has told some audiences that had he not been a politician, he would have been a preacher.
You would think he knows the basics of Christianity, right? Like when Jesus was born, died and resurrected?
The 79-year-old Zanu PF leader had been speaking for 50 minutes in Binga on April 13 when he was suddenly overcome by a brain freeze.
“Next weekend, Christians have Good Friday…,” Mnangagwa began. Then, as hundreds of people watched on, he leaned away from the microphone and turned to his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, with the most extraordinary question.
“What’s Good Friday for by the way, was it the birth or the death (of Jesus Christ)?”
As Chiwenga patiently gave him an impromptu sermon, Mnangagwa’s confusion only intensified. “So when was Jesus born?” he pressed his deputy.
The exchange went on for half-a-minute, until a supporter in the audience shouted: “ED Pfee!”
“Yeah,” Mnangagwa said as he returned to the microphone – apparently unaware it was picking every word from his chat with Chiwenga.
“I was asking whether Good Friday marks the birth or death of Christ,” he admitted.
But just moments later, he asked again if the next weekend was Easter.
In the Christian faith, Jesus’ birthday is celebrated on December 25 – Christmas – and his death is observed on Good Friday while his resurrection is celebrated on Easter Monday – the third day of his crucifixion.
Mnangagwa appeared out of it from the start when, during the playing of the national anthem, Chiwenga had to yank a cap from his head.
Mnangagwa will be 80 next year when he is expected to seek a new five-year term in general elections.