Former Midlands governor, Cepha Msipa has accused Zanu PF of abusing President Mugabe by allowing him to cling onto power despite his advanced age.
The former minister said the 92-year-old leader should be resting, but was forced to stay on because of problems facing the party, chief among them factionalism.
“Zanu PF, I have said it before and I will say it today, we are punishing him. Zanu PF is Mugabe,” he said.
“They know that without Mugabe, there is no Zanu PF. They know that without Mugabe, perhaps they will not win an election.”
He continued: “That’s the problem. They are holding onto him because of their selfish reasons. Of course he loves his party, so he doesn’t want them to lose hence he continues.
“But then, what happens? What’s the future? He cannot go on forever, at some point [he will have to leave]. I don’t know, really. I really don’t know.
“He has done a lot, [he] led during the struggle, he led here with [Joshua] Nkomo, led us to victory and we got our Zimbabwe together. That is a lot of achievement and, of course, there are some areas he failed.”
Msipa — who retired from active politics in 2014 — said Zanu PF was facing many challenges that also mirrored problems bedevilling Zimbabwe.
He said Mugabe’s government was clueless, adding it was time “they swallow their pride” and “open up for dialogue to ensure the calamity does not reach the tipping point”.
“While we should not be prophets of doom, what is happening at the moment is not good for the country. Clearly, this is our country. We will sink or swim together,” the former Zanu PF politburo member said.
Msipa said Mugabe was not to blame, but accused his lieutenants of bringing the country to its knees through unbridled corruption.
“Most of the people around him were not there at the beginning of the struggle. It’s people who have joined because of other agendas. They come not so much to correct things, but for selfish reasons,” he said.
“A lot of people who are coming now are thinking of themselves, not of the people they represent,” he added.
He said liberation war veterans like him had nothing to show for the sacrifice they made because they joined the armed struggle to free Zimbabweans.
Msipa said the new crop of Zanu PF leaders were lining their pockets, building mansions and living luxurious lives, in sharp contrast to the suffering being endured by many.
The former Zapu senior official said during Zimbabwe’s formative years, Mugabe and his Cabinet prioritised development and ministers were given monthly targets.
However, the work ethic died over the years, with government officials channelling their energies to wealth accumulation.
He said soon after coming into power, Mugabe rejected a government offer to install tap water at his Zvimba rural home, saying ordinary people should benefit first.
Msipa, who was the Water minister at that time, said he decided to take the project to the then Deputy Prime Minister Simon Muzenda’s rural home after Mugabe refused to have his home installed with piped water.
He said it was possible Mugabe had changed with time. “Maybe power corrupts,” he said with a beaming smile. Standard