Mnangagwa became head of state a year ago after Mugabe's ouster as a result of the army's intervention. Mugabe had been in power for 37 years, first as prime minister, then as president. He led the movement for the independence of Zimbabwe from the domination of the white minority.
President Mnangagwa was addressing a rally in his predecessor's hometown when he referred to the health status of the former leader. "He is old now, of course, he is now unable to walk but whatever he asks for, we will provide him," quotes the AFP news agency. telling him.
Despite his inability to walk, Mr. Mnangagwa said the former leader felt better and would be back in the country next week. "We take care of him, he is the founding father of the Zimbabwe nation, he is our founding father of free Zimbabwe," said the president.
The government pays Mr Mugabe's salary. After succeeding him last year, Mnangagwa won a controversial presidential election in July.