WHAT do you do when you are faced with a situation where you have a dangerously frail guest of honour who has to do some groundbreaking rituals, but can’t raise a pick, let alone climb into an earthmoving vehicle to move the hoe in a symbolic act to mark the beginning of the work?
It is very simple. You just park the equipment inside a trench next to a road and bury half of it to make sure that the door is level with the new surface and your special guest can simply walk in.
This is how President Robert Mugabe’s aides had to overcome the hurdle that come with their boss’ increasing frailty, when he went to officiate at the ground-breaking ceremony for the launch of the Beitbridge-Harare highway dualisation project at Chaka business centre in Chirumhanzu last week.
During the event, Mugabe only crawled into the vehicle’s cockpit and sat in a corner as the machine operator lifted its hoe twice to wild cheers from members of ZANU-PF who had been bussed in to witness the event.
Mugabe’s aides had to come up with this idea after an embarrassing incident last year when the 93-year old struggled during a tree-planting event.
In some of the pictures, after most of the guests had left the site, some school children wonder why a brand new pick of equipment lies half buried next to the road.