Zanu PF fears losing ill-gotten wealth: Coltart

BULWAYO - David Coltart, the minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, has alleged that officials in President Robert Mugabe’s party want to cling to power to protect their ill-gotten wealth.

The minister told an MDC rally in Bulawayo on Saturday that Zanu PF’s claims that it wants to cling to power “to protect the fruits of independence” were patently false.

“They can’t be talking of the fruits of Air Zimbabwe, the (National) Railways or other utilities because Zanu PF destroyed all those on their own,” Coltart said. “The fruits they must be talking about are those which have been achieved by individuals in that party mainly through corruption and patronage.

“The real fruits that the party is protecting are the big houses that are in North Harare. Some of the houses are the biggest in the world. We have seen shocking and abnormal wealth and that is what Zanu PF is protecting and not the fruits of independence,” he added.

The human rights campaigner added: “The most important fruit of our nation’s independence was the destruction of minority rule and the restoration of human dignity on all citizens regardless of colour, tribe, and creed amongst others.

“We all cherish this and want it preserved. None of us in this MDC want that freedom to be taken away. None of us want the horror of Rhodesia Front, Ian Smith, racial discrimination and war.”

Coltart said the GNU has shown the true colours of political actors in Zimbabwe and urged Zimbabweans to vote wisely.

“It (the GNU) proved the words of (US First Lady) Michelle Obama that power does not change a person but it exposes who that person really is,” Coltart said.

“I have watched Welshman Ncube in his role in government and as MDC president and I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that you will be safe, your children will be safe and this economy will grow safely if you vote for Welshman Ncube to lead this country in 2013.”

The minister again questioned the source of funding for a $6,5 million conference centre Zanu PF is building in Gweru when “my ministry for the whole year was allocated $8 million”.

“Where is the party getting all this money when government is struggling,” Coltart said.

Coltart admitted that the education system is still recovering after a decade of economic meltdown, and most parents could not afford to pay fees. But he said the inclusive government has given a glimpse of what the education system could be like if Zanu PF is removed from power.

“When we got into the inclusive government, many schools were closed and there were no textbooks,” the Education minister said. “We have managed to get the schools to be re-opened and source textbooks but challenges still remain.

“The little progress that we have made should give you an insight of what we can do if we attain full power. So when you go and vote, at least you have seen what we are capable of doing,” Coltart said. - Lloyd Mbiba

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