Monday, 10 October 2016

MSIPA HOSPITALISED

CEPHAS Msipa, the former Zanu PF politburo member and fearless critic of President Robert Mugabe’s regime, has been admitted at a private hospital in Harare over a suspected chest infection.

On Saturday, several top Zanu PF officials, among them national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, visited him at the hospital. Kasukuwere confirmed visiting Msipa at the hospital yesterday, but referred further questions to Msipa’s son, Douglas. 

“Yes, I went to see him at the hospital, but there was no problem at all. He was in a jovial mood. You can get more information from his son,” Kasukuwere said. Contacted for comment, Douglas said: “He is not feeling well and was admitted two days ago on Friday complaining of chest pains.”
Msipa, who quit active politics a few years ago, has repeatedly urged Mugabe (92) to name a successor and step down to avoid eroding his political legacy and “being consumed by unrestrained public anger” triggered by the harsh economic environment.

Recently, he told NewsDay that with the country experiencing a wave of protests over a collapsed economy, the onus was on Mugabe to reach out to his rivals, who were demanding accountability, electoral reforms and proper governance, for a truce and abet anarchy.

“This time, Mugabe has to show statesmanship and rise above partisan politics,” he told NewsDay last month.

“He has to call his rivals or those opposing him and discuss Zimbabwe. Pride will take Zimbabwe nowhere, but to more suffering. It is not fiction that Zimbabweans are suffering; it is a fact that needs redress.”

He added: “This idea of selfish politics will not help at all. I have travelled and wherever I go, I am asked, is this the Zimbabwe you fought for? It’s not. We never fought for violent protests, we never fought for selfish leadership, but we fought for selfless leadership that puts Zimbabwe ahead of personal interests.”

Due to a collapsing economy witnessed by rising unemployment levels, a debilitating cash crisis and severe food shortages, Zimbabweans have, almost daily, resorted to protest marches demanding improved social delivery.

“The people are not asking for things that are not genuine, they are demanding bread and butter issues and it is up to this government to respond to them rather than send teargas and water cannons,” Msipa said.

The warning came after Mugabe threatened vindictive action against opposition leaders and pressure groups pushing him to step down and allow a transitional government to take over.

The former Midlands governor — who fondly refers to the President as muzukuru (nephew) — said there was no doubt that Mugabe had played his part, which was why he now needed to pass on the baton.

He is also on record blasting Zanu PF hardliners advocating for the nonagenarian’s continued stay in power to be “human and stop punishing” him.

Msipa has also been critical of Zanu PF factionalism and hate politics that has seen the party purge several of its key members, among them ex-Vice-President Joice Mujuru who has since formed her own opposition Zimbabwe People First.

Mujuru and other opposition leaders were currently negotiating to form a grand coalition to field one candidate to fight Mugabe in the 2018 elections. newsday

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