Zanu PF legislator praises Ian Smith

HARARE - For many inside Zanu PF, Ian Smith is a contemptible human being who symbolised the loathed colonial government.

But not for Japhet Madubeko, who hero-worships the former prime minister of Rhodesia — now Zimbabwe.

Madubeko, a Zanu PF legislator for Vungu Constituency has nothing but praise for the man whom his leader President Robert Mugabe despised with a passion, even in death.

While his Zanu PF colleagues blame the so-called sanctions for the demise of the country’s once thriving mining sector, Madubeko said the Smith regime, which was reeling under worse economic embargoes was able to bust the crippling measures as it provided aid to the Zimbabwe Iron Steel Company (Zisco), which is now in the doldrums.

Smith ruled the country in the 1960s until 1979, leading a minority supremacist government that was toppled by the combined forces of Zanu and Zapu, leading to majority rule in 1980.

“I worked at Zisco during Ian Smith’s regime and he used to visit us frequently at the company, telling us that we are the back bone of the economy and we had to keep on working hard to sustain the country.

He knew what to do, together with the management that was running the plant and I agree with what the workers are saying,” said Madubeko.

Workers at Zisco — now NewZim Steel who have endured long periods of time without salaries after the company folded some years ago, are accusing Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of abandoning them.

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