Mr Mugabe went to pay his condolences to the family of Primrose Kurasha, the vice chancellor of the Zimbabwe Open University, at her home in the northern suburbs of Harare. Neighbours reported gaping potholes in the near vicinity were miraculously patched up a couple of hours before Mr Mugabe arrived at the house.
Moreover, when Mr Mugabe came back from his last foreign trip the main road to the Blue House, his Chinese-built mansion in Borrowdale, all 25 kilometers of it, suddenly sprouted state-of-the-art pothole patching equipment.
No one had been quite sure quite when he would arrive home this time. His party functionaries said later no announcement was made in case rival factions in his ZANU PF tried to outdo each other in welcoming charades at the airport.
The Harare city council insisted the repairs on the Borrowdale Road were none of their doing. The private contractors were hired and paid for by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC,) letting observant citizens know, of course, that Mr Mugabe was somewhere on the horizon.
Presumably, the OPC also ordered the quick clean-up around the late Mrs Kurasha’s address in Strathavon.
Is this to shield him from reality or spare a 93-year-old the bone-shaking discomfort everyone else goes through? And the custom-built, armoured presidential Mercedes is hardly a bone-shaker either. It could be that for security reasons they don’t want the limo and the heavily-armed motorcade to have to slow down like ordinary mortals must.