Mugabe ally predicts chaos

HARARE - Retired and highly-respected Zanu PF elder, Cephas Msipa, has once again spoken about Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic crises — manifested by the escalating and brutal infighting within President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party and the worsening waves of job redundancies in the country — saying he now fears for his “beloved country”.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, the despairing elder statesman said such was the magnitude of Zimbabwe’s problems at the moment that it had become imperative for all the country’s leaders — including those in politics, business and grassroots communities — to come together and seek urgently-needed solutions.

“I am really concerned that we are moving from crisis to crisis. You can imagine, for example, this labour thing (ongoing job losses). I am not sure what will happen but I foresee strikes and strikes and there is going to be chaos."

“This does not augur well for the country. It is a big problem and there is therefore need to sit down together and say let’s talk,” he said.

Msipa recalled that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had approached him in 1996, asking him to carry a message to Mugabe in which he was proposing to meet the nonagenarian every year to discuss important national issues and to try and agree on key agendas and programmes.

“I went to the president and he said why don’t you put it in writing. The president actually said let’s meet thrice a year even, and I think as Zimbabweans we need that approach again.

“I love my country and that is why I suffered for it. It pains me when I see the suffering of our people and I ask aren’t we able to sort this out? Some people have approached me again saying I should meet the president, but then the whole situation in the country is chaotic and some people may even misunderstand me although I am genuine.

“I remember a lot of friends who died for freedom and a better Zimbabwe and they would cry if they were to come back. I want to remain quiet, but not with all this suffering,” the despondent Msipa said.

Asked whether he was being blocked by bureaucrats to meet his old friend Mugabe, he said the last time that he had met the president was last year.

“He (Mugabe) said then let’s meet again because our talks were not conclusive and I think he then became very busy as the chairperson of Sadc and the AU. I haven’t made any attempts to meet him but I hope when I do I will meet him because in the past he never refused to meet with me.

“He is getting a lot of advice and I don’t know whether he would take my advice, but all I am saying is let us put our country first. This is our only country. With all the resources we have, it boggles the mind why we are poor. Maybe its corruption, I really don’t know,” Msipa said.

Asked if he could not, in the meantime, engage with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa about all the issues, as the VP comes from the same province as Msipa does, the Midlands, he said he had already done so.

“I have met the VP once, but he is my sekuru (uncle), and he will not say much to me,” he said.

Msipa’s latest pronouncements are in line with what he said three months ago when he first broke his recent silence over Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic crises and said candidly then that Zanu PF had failed the country badly.

Speaking in a similar interview with the Daily News in May, Msipa — who fondly refers to Mugabe as muzukuru (nephew) — 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.

And 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.

“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.

Most analysts say Zimbabwe is beset with mostly man-made crises — with both poverty and income levels today for the majority blacks often described as “disgracefully” far worse than they were during Ian Smith’s minority regime.

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

Msipa, who also describes 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,” he 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 out 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 promised 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,” he said.

Msipa was among the first prominent Zanu PF members to warn of an imminent split of the ruling 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.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News late last year, he 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 Mnangagwa for behaving as if it “owned” Mugabe’s divisive wife Grace — a development that he said had fuelled factionalism in the party.

Amidst all this, analysts say Zimbabwe has once again hit the depths of humanitarian and economic despair that were last experienced in 2008, when the country’s perennial political crises precipitated an economic meltdown of monumental proportions which culminated in the death of the Zimbabwe dollar.

The analysts told the Daily News last week that the only difference between then and now was that supermarkets were currently full of goods unlike seven years ago — although very few Zimbabweans were able to afford the goods as joblessness and poverty levels in the country  are increase exponentially.

Comments (23)

thanks msipa. what we need now is help from rwavhi Mugabe by dissolving his government and going into retirement at zvimba, which I know he is not prepared to do because the ghosts of gukurahundi are haunting him big time. he just wants to die with the country but for countries unlike living organisms like rwavhi, there is life after death!!!

josphat mugadzaweta - 20 August 2015

This man is a snake-oil sales man. "Maybe its corruption, I really don't know” Msipa says...really? Your heart might be in the right place too but your mind is sure aint. The rot in Zimbabwe did not start this year or 5-10yrs ago. It started with the assassination of would be leaders of a new Zimbabwe in the 70s & catapulted this sprite to be elevated to lead Zanu. The decline from 1980 to current was just a formality. If Msipa and his ilk were really troubled, genuinely troubled by the direction the country is taking they would have done something more decisive a long time ago or even now if they have just come to their senses.

Galore 123 - 20 August 2015

individualism has greatly affected us in zimbabwe. zvemuzimbabwe ndezve mazvake mazvake. we dont get any where tikaramba takadai.

charms - 20 August 2015

We are very much concerned about slogans. We do not feed on slogans. We are steeling in the name of patriotism. Hiding behind our fingers that sanctions are causing our suffering yet we are bus investing somewhere else

Zvenyika - 20 August 2015

Msipa just tell ur Mzukuru to do us favour and resign like u did. Wy does he not want to go and rest. We want roads to be constructed, shoping malls and everything that can give us jobs.

dembo - 20 August 2015

Well spoken Msipa but the question remains kuti muzukuru wants to die with Zimbabwe. Is it that Mugabe does not know that people are suffering and that all the ideals of the liberation struggle have been thrown to the dust bin. We can talk and talk but Mugabe wont listen. He pretends to listen but acting the opposite

Dunga - 20 August 2015

"But I see there is fear, fear to speak and yet that is why we went to war to attain freedom of speech."

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 20 August 2015

To me this man is one of the few remaining true former war leaders excluding Mugabe, Msipa is a giant , He never speaks for no reason and I do not remember him insulting anyone like the limping donkey always does . He is fully sane at his age and does not suffer from gaffes very sound indeed . A few months ago he foretold the split of zanu and it happened . Now he has fore seen terrible chaos which will finish off this party which was created by satan .We are keeping our fingers crossed till the day when the number one idiot in the country is swept out of power .

Diibulaanyika - 20 August 2015

While Msipa talks sense, the problem I have with people like him is that they don't realise the problem is Mugabe himself. At 91 the guy should just do the honorable thing and step aside and let fresh eyes take over. There is no problem with advice etc, Mugabe should pave way for much younger leader with fresh ideas. If Msipa who is younger retired what more of Mugabe who is older and with even more responsibilities.

Inyika - 20 August 2015

Msipa sounds very sincere and honest i also sense an element of great disappoint in him self as well as his own party good thing he has retired from active politics ,im sure he's amongst the few seniors in zanu pf to resign,nuff said he is right about one thing the country needs every one to come together and have a workable solution that will result in the growth and prosperity of the country ,

Dube-1 - 21 August 2015

Cephas is right and his opinion is good although he is beating about the bush ,the problem is not Zimbabwe or his beloved party but the moribund dictatorial leadership bent on decimating the would be leaders of a new free Zimbabwe by creating fake criminal records against them so as to weaken these perceived opponents .This is the problem with African leaders especially Mugabe ,recently he was jelous to give lan Khama the Sadc chairmanship and he was talking trash ,he must now retire and go and teach history at UZ as he is good in telling people Nehanda and Kaguvi as well as European history ,Zimbabwe now needs a vibrant leader not this tortoise haaa ,what he is failing to see is that those young turks are sabotaging him by creating a chaotic environment in the form of job cuts to give the electorate enough vernom to chuck him out embarassingly come 2018 elections .

Sekuru Temba - 21 August 2015

My father was a former Rhodesian Policeman who deserted and joined the liberation struggle in 1975. He was wounded in action losing his one eye. He told me that he joined the struggle believing that they were fighting for freedom and a better way of life for Zimbabweans. Just before he died last year he told me that he deeply regretted having fought for Mugabe saying that the only thing ZANU PF had achieved was misery and suffering and a big deterioration in living standards. My father was right.

Mudzimu - 21 August 2015

Zimbabwe in the first place fell into the wrong hands.Zanu by taking the reigns of rule in 1980 meant future destruction of the once vibrant economy.These are pretenders not leaders or rulers.

Chokwadi - 21 August 2015

cremora mugabe always think no one else can rule zimbabwe and its because of people like shamu he cant sing praises to his father but can afford to call mugabe cremora fuck maan.that cremora has turned to be ingomazi now i wish i can change my citzenship i now hate my motherland with passion because of zanu madodi

dhidndindi - 21 August 2015

can someone tell me what happened to those gud for nothing group ravana mararike and that unrepented son of a bitch mahoso i hope he is now at old age home

dhindindi - 21 August 2015

kkkkkkkk, mahoso, mararike, mugabe, zanu pf ... MY FOOT. I hate them with a passion. dai mwari avatora vasati vanyanya kutadza

francis muzex - 21 August 2015

Dlibulaanyika my brother you went very far by saying Zanu Pf was created by Satan.do you know the founding fathers of Zanu pf and do you know what it means Zanu pf?How can you dare insult our revered heroes both the late and the living ones.If you spoke from your normal faculties then i would conclude you are a typical example of insanity but if you do not know then you need to learn our history so that you stop the dissemination of heresies.Zanu Pf it means Zanu and Zapu together as they were together from the beginning in ANC,NDP before.These are the mentors of second Chimurenga and a little somebody today just comes from nowhere and call that nothing.Shame on you

carson macate - 21 August 2015

Madhindindi have you ever called your father son of a bitch even if you disagree with him over an issue?Mind your speech youngman that is typically UnAfrican and just uncouth.Dont pollute this space with insanity.Inspite of conflicts or differences we are still a cultured people

carson macate - 21 August 2015

Musatukana vana veZimbabwe. Lets properly direct our passion towards the future of our country. Lets worry that Mugabe might be playing another trick that will haunt us for another 40yrs. He is finished but be careful they say panofa Shato panomera imwe. Lets unite from Limpopo to Zambezi and guard against the likelihood of such a scenario . Thank Msipa but you have been with this guy too long to distance yourself today. Too late.

New nation - 21 August 2015

@Carson macate You see i am not like you who depend on scrap history written by zanu to brain wash some dull people like you . I was there during the war not in the bush but right in the war front feeding the armed volunteers who now go around lying to some individuals like you . that they are heroes .I have no doubt that you were not even a zeagote during the war that is why you prefer to depend on that rubbish which was written by satan .s product zanu which separated its self from zapu in 1963 to carry its hidden satanic agenda which has completely destroyed once Africa number two economy . You must be a son of one of these idiots ,

Diibulaanyika - 21 August 2015

@Carson macate I do not know how to be zanu and I do not want to be . What i know is zanu is supported ngama zanga and the less intelligent who can be told that a cell phone can watch them vote . I have never voted for zanu ever since and will never do so

Diibulaanyika - 21 August 2015

@Carson if you feel offended by me saying zanu is satan just get a ntambo hang yourself .If a political party kills 20 000 thousands unarmed people for no reason then if that is not satan what is it ? wena sinunka mulomo Carson.

Diibulaanyika - 21 August 2015

I will never agree with mispla as long as he keeps saying Mugabe has his mind and heart in the right place. This is the same man who allowed for a chaotic gukurahundi, shameful land reform that led to the death of a number of farm workers, the same man who after being defeated in 2008 resorted to violence to intimidate voters, there is nothing right about a man who wants to preside over the country until its in the grave

Jimmy bauer - 23 August 2015

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