President Emmerson Mnangagwa was taken by surprise when a director of ceremonies at the CEO Africa Round Table auctioned his neck tie for $15 000 in Victoria Falls.
He was later handed over a Donald Trump campaign tie to replace the one that had been auctioned as a symbol of the Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the international community.
It is very unusual for anyone to ask a Head of State to take off his tie, more so in front of a high level delegation which includes the Speaker of the National Assembly, government ministers, chief executive officers and other invited delegates.
However, the director of ceremonies Gary Thompson took the delegates by surprise, first by asking the President to stand up and next, requesting him to take off his tie.
While everyone wondered the objective, he began calling for bidders starting with $1 000, then $5 000.
“$8 000 somebody for $8 000, $ 10 000 for $10 000 you get the President’s tie thank you so much and $10 000 is going to help a hospital here. An $15 000 give him a hand,” he said.
In a few minutes it was taken for $15 000 by a businessman Tafadzwa Musarara.
According to Thompson, the money raised from the auction will be used to assist local hospitals.
Such light moments are just what the people of Zimbabwe have been longing for, to feel closer and comfortable around their President, a man of the people.