- Published: 23 January 2015
- Written by Staff Reporter
President Robert Mugabe returned home Thursday from his annual holiday in the Far East and apologised for extending his stay abroad while his wife was receiving medical treatment.
"I would like to say we are sorry, we took a long time away from home," he said addressing government, party officials and supporters gathered at the main airport to welcome him back.
"Mai [Mrs] Stop-It had pain in her side which was nagging her," Mugabe said referring to his wife by her nickname.
"It was found that she has appendicitis. She had a successful operation the day before yesterday and is now recuperating in hospital."
Mugabe's wife Grace earned the sobriquet Mrs Stop-It for her frequent use of the reprimand during Zanu-PF party rallies where she attacked perceived foes plotting to topple the ageing leader.
The Mugabes left for the annual holiday in mid-December and were due back last week.
Newly-installed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was left in charge in Mugabe's absence.
In his address, Mugabe, who turns 91 in a month, disparaged long-time ally Didymus Mutasa who was among a host of party officials expelled in a purge against allies of Mugabe's former deputy Joice Mujuru.
"A stupid fool cannot be corrected," Mugabe said referring to former presidential affairs minister Mutasa.
"There is nothing you can do to a straying grey ass. It's a graying ass just braying. We have no time for individuals of little brains, disorganised, mentally deranged if not close to being insane."
Mutasa issued a statement last week threatening a legal appeal against the expulsion and demotions of several Zanu-PF party officials including Mujuru and party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo.
Mujuru and Mutasa were accused along with several others of plotting to topple Mugabe in a sustained campaign of attacks by the first lady.