The members of Zimbabwe’s ruling Party, Zanu (PF), were treated to a rare short Robert Mugabe speech from the President. At just 80 minutes long it was half the length of a usual tirade from the President. Shorter, rather than short.
Zanu (PF) members who were at their 2010 annual conference this weekend in Mutare have become used to two hour speeches from their President. Sometimes they are even longer on special occasions. But on this occasion they didn’t hide their disappointment at being short-changed with their President’s public speaking. They were asleep. At first they yawned. Then, they yawned some more. And, finally, they fell asleep.
That is of course some impact. Just consider how a Robert Mugabe speech of 80 minutes can have such a devastating impact on his audience. Truly remarkable. Of course, we have seen other instances. The President Obama Kalamazoo speech resulted in a a member of his audience nodding off. But, that was only one audience member. Not several.
And the Zimbabwe President? How was he after this epic? He was alert and conscious at the end. But he appeared to lag somewhat as he approached his eventual conclusion.
That’s the problem with an 80 minute speech. It takes its toll on the speaker in addition to the audience.
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