Swahili speaking Tanzanian leader John Pombe Magufuli turned to President Emmerson Mnangagwa for his translation skills after it emerged none among the aides at the State House function in Harare could do it except for him.
Magufuli was in Zimbabwe on a two-day State visit and in his final address to the media before departure spoke mainly in Swahili forcing his host to help bemused local journalists with translation.
After speaking exclusively in his native Swahili, Magufuli turned to the journalists present and said:
“I Know you will cut some of the words.”
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George
Charamba tried to translate but could only manage one word.
“I just heard ‘mwaka’ meaning season,” Charamba said before ED took over the reigns and served as translator.
Earlier on, Tuesday at a banquet held at State house, Magufuli told the media that he could not find a translator for his speech hence would read his written speech which was in English.
Mnangagwa had asked Magufuli if he had a translator among his staffers to which the Tanzanian responded in the negative before carrying on.
During the liberation struggle Mnangagwa operated as a guerrilla in Tanzania were Zanu had several bases from which he probably learnt Swahili.