Mugabe delivers hopeless State-of-the-Nation address

HARARE - Long-suffering Zimbabweans yesterday united in criticising President Robert Mugabe’s State-of-the-Nation Address in Parliament, with the nonagenarian’s foes and supporters alike all variously describing the speech as “useless” and “hopeless” in light of the country’s accelerating economic meltdown.

Unconvinced legislators from the opposition MDC heckled Mugabe throughout his uncharacteristically short 30-minute speech, going on to ask him about the whereabouts of abducted journalist-turned-democracy activist Itai Dzamara, as well as Zanu PF’s 2013 election promises to create 2,2 million jobs by 2018.

And virtually all the people who were canvassed for a comment by the Daily News yesterday savaged the embattled nonagenarian’s speech for not containing any discernible themes, fresh ideas or promising proposals.

Instead, Mugabe typically blamed climate changes and declining international commodity prices for Zimbabwe’s poor economic performance, which is characterised by rising poverty levels and job losses.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai described Mugabe’s speech as “out of touch with reality”, while analysts dismissed it as “hopeless”.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, said so out of touch was Mugabe with the reality in Zimbabwe that he had “the audacity, even in the middle of this national economic collapse, to proclaim with a straight face that the economy is registering modest growth”.

“As widely expected, Mugabe failed to rise to the occasion. The crisis is bigger than the capacity of him and his government and he failed to take advantage of this day to announce to the nation the much-awaited news that he is retiring.

“Once again, this was vintage Mugabe — long on rhetoric but short on substance,” Tamborinyoka said.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti said as long as Mugabe — who is the only leader to have led Zimbabwe since the country’s independence from Britain in April 1980 — was still in power, the country would not move forward.

“There is nothing new that he has said. We have heard all that before and it was a waste of time to listen to his speech. In fact, his legacy has been of destruction. We used to be the Switzerland of Africa but now we are truly the Zimbabwe ruins,” he said.

Biti added that it was also time for opposition political parties to “swallow their egos” and come together to unseat Mugabe and his Zanu PF government from power.

“We must coalesce together to find lasting solutions to Zimbabwe’s problems. We must all play our part to make the country successful again,” he said.

Veteran economist John Robertson said the State-of-the-Nation Address had merely confirmed the long-held views that the regime was clueless about turning around the country’s waning economic fortunes.

“We were all hoping that the president’s speech would show us the map to economic revival. But once again, we have lost. He has wasted his and everyone’s time by failing to provide solutions to the challenges affecting the economy,” he said.

Robertson added that there was need for strong economic policies that would help attract foreign investment, reduce the cost of doing business in the country and create employment, if Zimbabwe was to move forward.

“We are not likely to create employment if industry is not competitive,” he said.

Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said it was not a useful exercise for Zimbabweans to hope that things would change for the better with Mugabe and Zanu PF in power.

“Besides, the statement was embarrassingly short for a State-of-the-Nation Address. What was even more embarrassing was the heckling he was subjected to and it is sad that the head of State has allowed himself to sink that low.

“This also reflects how Zimbabweans no longer have confidence in Mugabe and the state. The sight was very undignifying and you do not often see that anywhere else in the world,” Mandaza said.

Former Zanu PF legislator Temba Mliswa also castigated his erstwhile leader for failing to address security matters, as well as “bread and butter” issues.

“The State-of-the-Nation Address did not capture fundamental issues affecting Zimbabweans such as the need to ensure the security of people. He should have shown concern on Dzamara’s disappearance because it is the expectation of citizens that the president shows concern with human rights issues.

“He should have also addressed issues to do with subsidising agriculture to encourage farmers to produce more, to improve food security in the country and to reduce imports,” Mliswa said.

But Zanu PF deputy spokesperson and Highfield West MP, Psychology Maziwisa, bucked the trend of commentary saying Mugabe had been “spot on” by speaking about the need for collective responsibility in implementing the ruling party’s ZimAsset economic blueprint.

“That is the kind of language we wanted to hear and so, we anticipate positive changes in the lives of people,” he said.

Respected academic and UZ political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said he had not wasted his time watching the address, which was beamed live on State TV.

“I did not listen to the so-called State-of-the-Nation Address because I had something more productive to do,” he said.

Zimbabweans had implored Mugabe to at least commit himself to meaningful human rights and economic reforms if his State of the Nation Address was not to become a complete damp squib, and if the country was to be brought back from the edge of the precipice.

Tsvangirai went to the extent of calling on Mugabe to take yesterday’s opportunity to announce his departure from office — as a necessary first step towards reviving the country’s fortunes.

Comments (26)


Piedpiper - 26 August 2015 keeps on crying , my beloved country... I pray and hope that someday a solution will be found and you can stop the crying....everything in its own time, only the Lord knows when...

Den - 26 August 2015

I don,t understand able body people listening to an uncle telling them that tomorrow I shall go to the field worse off a 91years old.surely what do expect from this old thing.if you ask yourself one question why is he continuously stressing himself at that age.then you will know that this old thing is not a human being

mr honest - 26 August 2015

Zanu (PF) Land barons are now in charge of the country, selling land and demanding bribes. Is this the land reform programme that you Mr Mugabe embarked on in 2000????. Land to the masses??????

Gigo.Drumstick - 26 August 2015

I major reason there will be a delay in reviving the economy lies squarely with the opposition in this country. Tsvangison has never been able to articulate an alternative economic vision that resonates with the electorate. Continuing to mourning about Mugabe this and ZANU PF that will not bring a single improvement in the lives of people. Currently, the rest of the world, particularly emerging economies is trying to find solutions to the carnages brought about by the twin global currency problems of a strengthening US$ and a weakening Chinese Yuan. Why? It is because their domestic currencies are faltering badly, capital flights are taking places from these countries, companies are closing left right and centre, there are severe job losses there. And all our MDC-T arm chair critics can say about Zimbabwe is that it is the fault of a 91 year old leader!!! Come out and tell us what you would do under similar circumstances, you empty heads.

mageja siziba - 26 August 2015

@mageja siziba so now it is the fault of Tsvangirai? Typical Zanu, blame everyone else.

Murambatsvina - 26 August 2015

“There is nothing new that he has said. We have heard all that before and it was a waste of time to listen to his speech. In fact, his legacy has been of destruction. We used to be the Switzerland of Africa but now we are truly the Zimbabwe ruins,” he said. CORRECT ! “We must coalesce together to find lasting solutions to Zimbabwe's problems. We must all play our part to make the country successful again,” he said. IT CAN´T. POLITICIANS IN ZIM FOLLOW MUGABE`S STYLE OF DOING THINGS.THEY PUT THEMSELVES FIRST BEFORE THE PEOPLE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO SERVE. THEY ARE VERY CORRUPT !

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 26 August 2015

Chidhara ichi chinofunga kuti he can defy the laws of nature. You cannot live forever Robert. Go home kwa Zwimba and spend the little of what is left of your time on earth quietly. You think you are still some School Boy at Kutama ? Ku dyer vhudzi zwanzi kuda ndingaramba ndiri chikomana. Woda kuita zwekutakunyiwa sezongororo here ? You are an impediment to the development of Zimbabwe - the sooner you leave us alone the better.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 26 August 2015

@Mageza. But why is ur 91 yr old skeleton refusing to go and rest? Can't u also see that the man is now old and tired? All we want is a young leader with fresh ideas even within zanu pf. Is he the only person with the balls of leading zanu pf and the country? If so why did he fire mai Mujuru? Ur skeleton is a bastard who does not care for the people he fought for against white minority rule. And now he is dishing us a difficult way of living which is worse than what Smith gave to our fathers. Hai foku mani.

Dembo - 26 August 2015

Its 2015 ,the world is now a global village. Make more friends and no enemies at all. Respect and uphold rule of law, Respect property rights, Stop racism. Stop corruption and Theft .Stop mafia activities. stop discriminating local people because of colour , wether one is blue, green, or purple we are all Zimbabweans. Create a an investor friendly policies. just for starters. Make Zimbabwe the place that every person filthy rich on this planet wants to put his money. How would our own local people feel if i.e you have money and want to invest in properties and want to buy lets say a five room house from a town within the country and you are required to give three rooms free to a person from that town and joint own it. What would you do. Decisions made by Mugabe affect 13m plus people.Its sad all have been very bad in the last 15years. The man is holding the keys to the doors of success of the country. One have to be a beneficiary of this system to like it. The sad part for people in support of the system is when Mugabe arrest then as pawn for Corruption, They cry buckets if not dams of tears. It will require abolishment of useless ministries and create a fully fledge Ministry of Marketing Zimbabwe to get us out of this hole post Mugabe era. All this madness will come to an end.

X-MAN IV - 26 August 2015

Mageza pls tell us, if God can give ur uncle another 10 yrs of living wil he still be ur presdent? I am asking this cos he once said he will only get removed by God. And will this going to be okay with u? No guys lets be serious. We don't know u Mageza maybe u are Kasukuwere, or Moyo, or Shiri, Chihuri or anyone who is one of Mugabe's thugs, who can have coffee with Mugabe. Pls pls pls pls pls tell him that we are now tired. Time for him to hand over power to someone. Even to u it can be better.

Dembo - 26 August 2015

All Zimbabweans want a prosperous country. There is no single person who can stand in their way to prevent us all from achieving that goal. We have seen and known the ideas and practise of Mugabe and ZANU PF in running the affairs of State. I am challenging Tsvangison and MDC-T to reveal their alternative ideas and practices that will win the majority of people over to their party. They should reveal their plans for turning around the economy. Those policies cannot remain a guarded secret forever. So far the way I understand their reasoning is like arguing that all short people cannot be trusted. They are thieves. Only tall ones are reliable because they are straight. Sorry, I cannot not buy your emotions. You need to be more convincing.

mageja siziba - 26 August 2015

mageja siziba: The country is collapsing under the captainship of mugabe and zanu pf, the grandmasters of election rigging and these are thugs standing in our way. During the GNU, didnt the economy start improving because Tsvangirai was in? Tsvangirai warned mugabe didnt he soon after the rigged 2013 elections that now lets see you rig the economy. Tsvangirai knows the medicine that can cure the economy. You have heard him call for reforms havent you? Reform of the security sector etc etc. Your mugabe has no economical foresight at all. What he has is foresight of how to rig elections thats all. I must just sum up by saying you are a confused idiot

Jackson - 27 August 2015

Do you remember folks, foul mouthed mugabe's remarks during the Government of National Unity (GNU) that it (GNU), was hindering the speed of economical growth and that he wanted elections held as soon as possible

jackson - 27 August 2015

Yes Jackson Mugabge wanted GNU over so they could loot again and develop their farms and houses. See now we have Gushungo dairies, Kasvukuviri built his own mansion, Chiyangwa was given south park farms

maheu - 27 August 2015

Till we decide to face the shit direct and cut no corners, we are stuck till death do us part. Sucrifice, sucrifce, sucrifice, not all will reach Israel but its worth it to unclutch the nation from the devil. Or we wait for his time & sufer forever. AWAKE ZIMBOS.

EL-DODO - 27 August 2015

Mugabe and his ZANU PF party are directly to blame for the state of our country, however, Morgan Tsvangirai has no room to talk or criticize anyone because he has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that he is a totally useless and grossly incompetent leader, one that we should all avoid. Pinning any hope on this man and his officials is something none of us must ever consider doing. In my opinion, he is even worse than Mugabe and if elected will sink this country into even new lows. Hokoyo.

To the point - 27 August 2015

@To the point.... Are u also blind that u can't see the good things that Tsvangs did to our economy while he was in the GNU? Or u are just as stupid as Maziwisa.

Dembo - 27 August 2015

I saw the President present one of his shortest addresses ever. I surmised, things do change as change is the only constant. got me thinking this man an orator of note eloquent on International stages and well known for his command of the queens language will one day pass on. Who in ZANU will stand and give him a resounding speech. Yah maybe he should record his own graveside speech to be televised live on the day. He should start by giving 3months notice kune mamwe ma minister....or sorry I was fast asleep. That dream was kinda good.

Telescope - 27 August 2015

kkkkkk masamba warwadziwaka hausati my boy shingirira mwana wedangwe anotsi robert chatunga cremora mugabe .for more news please check with webster shamu.unodzingwa pa chair yavanga vajaira ukano gariswa mumuti rangarira pa heroesacre

dhindindi - 27 August 2015

poor old man if God is delaying to take you its not your fault. but surely leave the Zim guys with goodeconomy

jose - 27 August 2015

@ Dembo - I have to agree with "To the point." By signing that ill fated GNU at a time when ZANU PF were down and out and virtually finished, Morgan actually facilitated the full recovery of Robert Mugabe and thereby sold us all out. Never would I ever again vote for the MDC, in fact I would go so far as to say that I would prefer to vote for Mugabe, at least I would know what I am getting. Big changes are needed in this country.

Firefox - 27 August 2015

The opposition is delaying the change in a simple way . Do you really think Zimbabweans will vote you in when you fail to tell us the alternative to Mugabe's failure . Mugabe's hopeless speech ! Give us the hopeful alternative . We are not as dump as you are you opposition . All you need is power . Its now 15 years of shouting a lot of nothings . Mugabe is better with his offers against MDC-T 's shouts about Mugabe . If you do not know how to market yourselves please leave politics . We want realistic people . STOP TALKING ABOUT MUGABE AND ZANU PF AND TELL US ABOUT YOUR MDC-T AND YOUR SOLUTION TO THE CRISIS .

Hayibo ! - 27 August 2015

Aaah!!! nhaiwe haibo, waakuda kugadzirisirwa nyika yamaka uraya mega kkkk

aah!! - 27 August 2015

@firefox.... Mugabe was not down when Tvangirai joined the GNU. Its the country's economy which was down and only the people who were suffering. Thats why Mugabe refused to go when he lost elections. Tsvangis joined cos he wanted to help the people who were suffering and also beaten. That was a punishment to the people by Mugabe for voting Tsvangs. Now we are here blaming Tsvangs for saving us from a vampire. No come on guys.

Dembo - 27 August 2015

Hayibo, dont say 'we' when you are only one! You leave me with no option but to suspect that you are possesed like legion!

jojo - 27 August 2015

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