HARARE - In an ominous birthday speech yesterday, President Robert Mugabe said former Vice President Joice Mujuru (pictured) and her allies would rot in jail for allegedly pocketing funds donated by well-wishers for Zanu PF’s disputed congress that was held in Harare in December last year.
Speaking during the 21st February Movement celebrations in the resort town of Victoria Falls, Mugabe also claimed that former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa had struggled to account for party donations when the nonagenarian allegedly confronted him.
“They will rot in jail because they have this habit of cheating, cheating and cheating, taking money meant for our congress in order to build their own political power,” Mugabe said.
He added that while some of the money had been donated by genuine well-wishers, the other donors were working with Mujuru and her allies to oust and assassinate him.
“Some of the funds were given by Tongaat Hulett, to the Gamatox faction, to build political power.
“When I asked Mutasa about the whereabouts of the donation he stuttered saying it’s so and so, yet he was the secretary for administration and minister responsible for State security. Is that security when you are not honest?” Mugabe thundered.
The Zanu PF leader said because of Mutasa’s alleged incompetence, he had subsequently decided to take care of his own security.
In a one-and-half hour rumbling speech, Mugabe also took a swipe at Mujuru whom he once again accused of dabbling in witchcraft — including allegations that the ex-VP had sought the services of Nigerian witchdoctors in the murky plot to wrestle power from him.
“We managed to get information about what they were doing. Mujuru, a liberation war comrade who sinks so low to the extent of hiring the services of two Nigerians saying they were experts. Yes experts in stealing from the foolish like you,” he said.
He openly admitted to endemic corruption within his government, saying “educated ministers” and ministry officials were forming companies fronted by other people to steal from the government.
“I wonder whether our universities are training thieves because ministers block investors, demanding bribes in order to take them to the president.
“They even steal from their own clients when they form banks while (Patrick) Chinamasa’s officials are also busy engaging in corrupt activities depositing money meant for resuscitation of industries into accounts of bogus companies they will have formed.
“This is only what we have managed to unearth but what about that which we have not discovered. So which people should we give these jobs when accountants are not honest?” Mugabe moaned.
He also appeared to sanction fresh invasions of the few remaining white-owned commercial farms, alleging that the farmers had been spared as a result of their political links with deposed Zanu PF provincial chairpersons.
Mugabe singled out former Mashonaland East chairman Ray Kaukonde as the chief culprit, claiming that Kaukonde left 163 farms in the hands of white farmers in Goromonzi and Mutoko districts alone.
He said now that the chairpersons were deposed, the party’s youth league should take a leading role in invading the remaining farms.
Mugabe said it was not fair to have the West imposing sanctions on him while they owned land in Zimbabwe.
He urged his party youths to target wildlife safaris as well as sugar and tea plantations.
“But we are now going to invade those forests, for our people cannot continue to suffer when the Americans have slapped us with sanctions, No! They cannot have it both ways.
“They cannot say to us allow our people to visit, allow our people to invest, to hunt and take trophies with them, to dig for our minerals.
I have said we fought for political independence, now we want economic independence.”
The nonagenarian also revealed that his ministers were not competent enough to follow up on the land reform programme.
“They did not make proper follow-ups and the chairpersons would lie that there are no more farms in their provinces, but I told the minister of Lands (Douglas) Mombeshora that from next week, we are going to check from all other provinces to see how many more farms are there,” he warned ominously.