Mugabe now needs help - Msipa

HARARE - Retired and hugely-respected Zanu PF elder, Cephas Msipa, has broken his recent silence over Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic crises, saying candidly yesterday that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF had failed the country badly.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Msipa — who fondly refers to Mugabe as muzukuru (Shona for nephew) — also said the embattled nonagenarian needed all the help Zimbabweans could give him, across the political divide, if the country was to be rescued from the edge of the precipice where it had been for too long.

Describing Mugabe as “fundamentally” having good intentions, Msipa said not many positives could, however, be said about Zanu PF, which he said was failing dismally to deliver the “milk and honey” the ruling party had promised Zimbabweans during the  liberation struggle.



Cephas Msipa (left) chatting with President Mugabe (right).

“He (Mugabe) needs a lot of help and so we must support him. His heart is in the right place and he needs help,” the concerned Msipa emphasised repeatedly.

He added that although he had retired from active politics last year, he could not, however, bury his head “in the sand” when it was self-evident that the nation was “burning”.

“I am trying to get away from elective politics where people are jostling for positions. But because I have invested a lot of my life and time in politics, going back to the 1950s, I want to see this country prosper.

“I want to see the economy prosper. I look at the poverty in the country and I am worried at what is happening. When we went to war, we were promising people milk and honey and Zimbabwe was supposed to be a country of plenty.

“Milk meant enough to eat and honey represented happiness. I want to see people happy in the country. But I see there is fear, fear to speak and yet that is why we went to war to attain freedom of speech. Many people suffered for this country so that we can be happy, but where is the happiness?” Msipa asked ruefully.

As he spoke, more than two million Zimbabweans are faced with hunger after the twin combination of drought and poor planning by authorities impacted negatively on the country’s crop yields this farming season — meaning that the broke government will have to yet again hunt and pay for maize, the staple diet, from abroad.

Yet, at the time of Zimbabwe’s independence in April 1980, the late Tanzanian President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, exhorted the new Zanu PF government to look after the flowering economy that they had inherited from Ian Smith’s government, saying: “You have inherited the jewel of Africa, don’t destroy it”.

Just over 35 years later, Zimbabwe is beset with perennial and mostly man-made myriad crises — with both poverty and income levels today for the majority blacks often described as “disgracefully” worse than they were during Smith’s minority government.

In the process, the country swiftly moved from once being the bread basket of the region to become a hopeless basket case a situation widely blamed on Zanu PF’s misrule and the gross corruption of its officials.

Msipa said yesterday that the worsening poverty levels in the country owing to the deteriorating socio-economic conditions could only be mitigated if Zanu PF accepted that it had failed the people and all Zimbabweans put their heads together to come up with lasting solutions to the crises.

He said he was making this observation and call even as he realised that some people in Zanu PF had contemptuously dismissed calls by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai for a national dialogue.

Msipa, who also described Mugabe as a long-standing personal friend, said petty personal differences should be put aside at this difficult moment in the country’s history as Zimbabwe was “burning”.

“Let us concentrate on things that matter. Let us put our heads together as a country so that we can stop this death where industries are closing and people are thrown out of employment,” Msipa said.

Some economists estimate that up to 95 percent of the country’s 14 million people is unemployed and live well below the poverty datum line — most of them eking a difficult living as street vendors.

In the run-up to the disputed 2013 national elections, Zanu PF promised Zimbabweans a better life under its still-born economic blueprint

ZimAsset, which promises more than two million jobs before 2018.

But Msipa warned that without unity of purpose in the country, most Zimbabweans would continue to suffer and wallow in poverty “because the pangs of hunger do not discriminate” along party-political lines.

“Let us have a unity of purpose. Let us see that Zimbabwe is prosperous regardless of political affiliation. Zanu PF cannot do it alone.

“This year we are going to have a drought and it will not affect Zanu PF members only but everyone. I ask often when this suffering is going to end. Let us identify our commonness as we are all Zimbabweans. We swim or sink together and once we identify our commonness we will see what we can do,” Msipa said.

Quizzed on whether he thought Mugabe was to blame for the hardships being experienced in the country, Msipa laughed, choosing to say diplomatically that he had “a good personal relationship” with the nonagenarian.

Asked about the last time he met Mugabe, he said he last sat down with the president in December last year “at the height of the Zanu PF purges”.

“He has been very busy but I am looking forward to meeting him soon. Sometimes I write him here and there. We are on good terms and I have no problem with him personally and remember we have a very special relationship dating back to the liberation struggle.

“Even when he left Zapu to form Zanu he said sekuru (Shona for uncle) I hope this move will not affect our relationship. We differ and agree here and there,” he said with nostalgia.

Msipa was among the first prominent party members to warn of an imminent split of the party last year, going on to criticise Mugabe openly for failing to deal with Zanu PF’s deadly infighting and refusing to take advice on the party’s escalating factionalism.

In an interview with the Daily News last October, Msipa said pointedly that he feared for the worst for Zanu PF if its ugly intra-party ructions continued to obtain — a prophetic warning that has since come to pass,

“If people continue being dissatisfied with what is happening, it is possible to have a split. I think the president has the key to all these issues. I hate factionalism and if it continues I don’t know what will become of the party,” he said then.

Msipa also bluntly warned Mugabe that his failure to unmask and stop the party’s real factionalists would result in the party splitting into several opposing camps, further attacking the party faction aligned to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa for behaving as if it “owned” Mugabe’s divisive wife, Grace — a development that he said had fuelled factionalism in the party.

Comments (25)

Mugabe himself is the problem. He does not tolerate dissent and criticism. He eliminates his enemies (perceived or real) and rewards imbeciles who sing lullabies to him. The country needs serious debate and disagreement for the issues that are important for its success to be interrogated fully. Mugabe is the reason why this does not happen...he likes people who sing and dance for him. After the RBZ debt assumption bill passed ZANU PF legislators broke into song and dance kikiki...laughable yet so upsetting.

Farai - 13 May 2015

Mahwindi nemajagger enhowa akaona kuti ukaenda kumusangano uchiti vaMugabe chete muoffice wasingatenderane nazvo vatengesi unopromotwa. Musangano wekuranwa nembavha, majega nemahwindi because they practice violence. Nwaa we also suffered during the war. matanga embudzi nemombe zvakapera. Yanyika yekuchengeta vana venyu nevakuwasha nevashoma vanokunanzvai magaro. Madiamonds aripi? Mukabvunzwa mouraya. Worse oppressors than imperialists.

Chikwembu - 13 May 2015

I never used to condone military intervention ,however there are exceptions... looking at Zimbabwe today where people have been turned from have nots ..into never ever will have ..such intervention would have my blessings.Unpopular and unwanted rulers who abuse The State for their own personal gain have no place in the corridors of national responsibility. The people began the struggle in Burundi this indeed shows they are smart ,they may not be well educated but they are smart for they know when enough is enough..the same cannot be said of the poor people of Zimbabwe who shout high and loud about being educated(the quality of which is debateable) and yet are not smart enough to realise that the powerand responsibility of change lies in their hands. Yes i will say it Zimbabweans you are not smart ,it is no secret that you voted for Mugabe at the promise of 2 million jobs, it is not a secret that many of you have t-shirts and caps ane chi face cha Mugabe and you go around muchichipembembedza gushungo gushungo mwana we hure,it is no secret that you pay up ukanzi imari yemusangano and you laugh at those who try,Dzamara was alone at Unity Square and yet there are millions who were and are still living in squalor to this day...my people you are not smart ..until the day you say no to this abuse, i will not have any respect for you at all..ukanzi musangano ko kuramba kuti maya handidi..be the change ,it starts with you!..best wishes to the people of Burundi :-)

Mazana Mambombo - 13 May 2015

@Mazana Mambombo I wonder if you would have joined dzamara at unity square oh and where are you writing from by the way?

Murama - 13 May 2015

One of the challenges of rising by the sword and prolonging stay in power by the sword is either death by the sword or the drop the sword. Mugabe is in a corner and can't let power go because he fears all his crimes may burn his fingers in his last days of life. For him it's either die in office or get killed in office.

Ziziharinanyanga - 13 May 2015

thanks daily news, but do these zanu "fools" ever listen to the voice of reason. never! its so sad and a shame.

see - 14 May 2015

Grace, Grace, Grace wauraya nyika!!

wenduru - 14 May 2015

@mazana mambombo wabaya dede nemukanwa.Mazimbo tinotya.Kubvira kuma opposition leader acho kusvika kuna @murama uyo aritidza kuti anotozviitira nekutya.Who could have jouned Dzamara kana ma leader eopposition akatadza kutungamirira.We forget kuti even masoja nemapurisa anogariswa pakadoma mukombi anodawo food on the table.They also have etended families.Vanotodawo kusunungurwa.But the question is ndiani anonoisa kiti bhero.

chimuti - 14 May 2015

Kiusvika humbwende hwatinahwo mazimbo hwapera mugabe acharamba achitonga.tinoita noise yezvisina basa tichisiya kuratidzira kuti mugabe ayende.

Chitsiga - 14 May 2015

How do you expect people to rise with a sword in Zimbabwe yet the military and the police is blinded to the extent of being used by the ruling party to silence voices which will be actually crying for changes which will also benefit them too.if there are groups of people who should play a leading role for a paradigm shift in our country right now is the military and the police,they need to wake up and smell the coffee and rise against their unjust,undemocratic,radical,conservative,failed and ruthless leaders who they take orders from.Do you think Zimbabwean aren't tired of this ruling party?Do you thing even those in the ruling party do not want a change? They do but the problem is who is willing to risk his/her life by raising a voice like what Dzamara did.If you raise your voice the police and military will there to be foolishly used to silence you.I wonder what our police force and the militia is really benefiting from the ruling party,are they living in a better Zimbabwe where they are not seeing the declining of the economy,where government has completely failed running the state.Police and the militia need to take a stand not against the populace which is eager for a better economy but against the government which has failed.

reply - 14 May 2015

Mazimbo lets surrender everything to God we are a christian nation. We are not the first to experience the current situation. It is hard to stand up and fight as much as we would want.

chimuti - 14 May 2015

Who will bell the cat? I think there is a big which failed to die during the days it used to try to bell the cat. The cat failed to bite it to death although it would scratch. There was a time when the cat invited the big rat into its gvt, that is the time when the big rat was silenced. I still believe the big rat still has the audacity to bell the cat. Its name is Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.

Big Meech Larry Hoover - 14 May 2015

"Lets learn to live together, work together as brothers or we are going to die together as fools" Martin Luther King Junior.

Tichaona Revai Sithole - 14 May 2015

VaMusipa regai kutishungurudza isu mhuri yeZimbabwe nemashoko enyu aya. Makura imwi. Tinotarisira mashoko echokwadi kubva kwamuri. Kwete nharaundo yatsuro nagudo yamuri kutiudza iyi. Makagara apo pamusoro naye uyo muzukuru wenyu Robert navamwe vake muchinesimba , muchirikuzwinzwa,nyika mukakukurisa naRunde makasvinura mese. Chitsva chamungataura nhasi ndicho chatiri kutadza kuona. Zwandiri kuona ndezwekuti nhasi uno Robert akati vese vaakasairira panze dzokai kudapi tienderere mberi tichinombora sezwatagara tichitita kwemakore makumi matatu nemashanu anoraudzira kwamuri problem solved. Hapana kana munhu mumwechete weruzhinji rweZimbabwe wamuri kuchemera kunze kwevazukuru nezwizukuru mabvi zwenyu - takasvinura , tinozviona kunyanya isu vemudunhu reMidlands.

Chorosi - 14 May 2015

all the other rats (mangoma,biti,mujuru,mutasa,gumbo,makoni,dabengwa) cant bell the cat (Mugabe), there are cowards. Lets revive the courage of our original rat (MRT) so that he can revive the strategy of belling the cat and force the rat to act in terms of improving the economy,reforming and good governance.

Big Meech Larry Hoover - 14 May 2015

The assumption that 95% of the 14 million Zimbabweans are unemployed can never be correct. Say 95% percent of those eligible for work are not working. These are some of the stupid figures which utmost, not scientific findings being peddled by this opposition paper, shame bad reporting!

Shaaz - 14 May 2015

So, smart ass @Shaaz, why don't you tell us the correct Zim-Asset unemployment rate in Zimbabwe? 11%, no? What a brainwashed Zanoid! Kkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Kt - 14 May 2015

Mugabe is the MAIN problem.He in his hard headed and hard heartedness has caused great suffering upon ordinary Zimbabweans.He should just fade into oblivion.Zimbabwe no longer required his useless services....

Gorata - 14 May 2015

its tonderai ndira's day today ndira was abducted and killed on the 14th of May 2008 lets remember him as well as remembering thjat Mugabe needs our help

tonderai ndira - 14 May 2015

its tonderai ndira's day today ndira was abducted and killed on the 14th of May 2008 lets remember him as well as remembering thjat Mugabe needs our help

tonderai ndira - 14 May 2015

"But I see there is fear, fear to speak and yet that is why we went to war to attain freedom of speech." “You have inherited the jewel of Africa, don't destroy it” When it comes from people such as Msipa only then are these statements regarded as valuable and newsworth. Yet for decades ordinary Zimbabweans who care for our country have been lamenting for the lack of freedom of speech and mourning about the destruction of our once beautiful Zimbabwe to no avail. Mr Msipa and your Zanu-PF cocks you disappointed Zimbabweans beyond a point of retrieval. I keep on repeating this over and over again: " We fought a bitter struggle for independence after which we entrusted you to lead us build a fair, just and equitable Zimbabwe. Instead you saw that as an opportunity to enrich yourselves at the expense of the masses of Zimbabwe. Makakoniwa. Tisiyei nenhamoi dzedu. Tichawatengesa matomato kuchengeta mhuri dzedu kusvikira the Messiah come. For certain the Messiah will come."

Sekuru Chihori Ngi-i - 14 May 2015

Have no fear Goblin Gushungo, the boot-licking Europeans are coming with more bucket loads of dollars to save you ass. Present and past Western Diplomats/ Ambassadors to Zimbabwe including Philippe van Damme, Deborah Bronnert , Gera Sneller, Aldo Dell'Ariccia, Carl Skau, Catriona Laing, Laurent Delahousse, Lars Ronnås, Bard Hopland , Giles Enticknap, Hans-Günter Gnodtke , Xavier Marchal , have urged America to aid, abet and praise sing the Zanu terrorist regime like they are already doing. These European mentally challenged idiots have surrendered their first world civilized values so as to engage in chocolate farming with their Satanist comrades in Zimbabwe. Some of these acolytes are reported to have gained corruptly from their office and presence in Zimbabwe. This EU mob based in Harare still care nothing about the kidnapping “disappearance” of Itai Dzamara. Former EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton, despite her heavy involvement with the Iranian nuclear threat, managed to see that the EU diplomatic values were retained. Her successor Federica Mogherini who become new EU foreign policy czar now clearly needs to Audit the Zimbabwe office. Based on the facts involved one can expect the political guillotine to be rolled out. Comrade Aldo Dell'Ariccia has already been demoted to Madagascar, and Xavier Marchal was shunted to Ethiopia before disappearing off the political radar. Thankfully the Americans have retained their core values (unlike the European mental paraplegics)

Ngoni Masoka - 14 May 2015

Only but a handful of people actually see what going on in Africa, and indeed the whole world. No one in their right mind would ever run down a country. Unless they are hopelessly stupid. The New World Order is a phrase many have heard, and think they know, but sadly are mistaken. 'Order out of chaos' is the otto of those behind the chaos rocking the whole world, from the social unrest in South Africa, the economic non-existence of country just north of it, to geo-political turmoil is central africa and religious intolerance in the north and west of Africa. Now at a glance, all these might sound unrelated to the blinkered, but , as tiem moves on, you will see that the final result of all these will merge into chaos...and the need for a new world order. Now the NWO is a topic on its own for another day. I used it just to show you guys that hazvisi zvega izvi. Do you think SA cannot fix its education system if they were determined to? they can, but it'd mean more independent thinkers who would threaten mass crowd controlling. Do u think SA govt doesnt see their people suffering in poverty? They do. and again, if they wanted to, could fix it. Its all to cause irritation and anger among the masses to induce the chaos. Do you think Zim cant really get out of the mess its in. With one or 2 swipes of the pen, new legislation, it can. the guys is govt are playing mahumbwe to get people angry...and a reason for a New World Order. I will highlight Burundi and DRC for political instability, neka president kekowo kakangofuma kachida 3rd term. And further north, maBoko nema Al Quaeda ari kutokonzeresa. a carefule study of the beginnings of Al Quaeda and ISIS will tell you who bankrolls them. So if u really think about it, all these political leaders are working towards creating upheaval and commotion. Those wo cause the most commotion are performing well.

Vhura Meso - 14 May 2015

Whilst Msipha has a point he deserted ZAPU in the early 80s to join ZANU. Had he been so brave then he should have remained with his collegues

Edgar Gegane - 17 May 2015

had he been so brave then he should have remained with his comrades and offered a strong opposition then. The governance of the country would probably have not gone astray as he wants to pontificate now. Nobody takes him serious now. It is better for him to keep quiet .

Edgar Gegane - 17 May 2015

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