Time for Mugabe to retire, says Msipa

GWERU - Retired Zanu PF elder, Cephas Msipa, who has been one of the few voices of reason in the warring ruling party, says keeping President Robert Mugabe in power is tantamount to “punishing” the increasingly frail nonagenarian, further urging the long-ruling leader to retire immediately.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily News yesterday, the much-respected Msipa said Mugabe’s 56 years in politics were long enough for a “normal human being to hang the boots”.

“My serious advice to him (Mugabe) is that he should rest now, as he has done so much for the country,” he said.

Msipa, a close friend of Mugabe of many decades, said the nonagenarian — who is the only leader that Zimbabweans have had for the past 36 years — cannot rest after death.

“In a way, he has done a lot for this country, and really in all fairness we are punishing him. When will he rest, when he is dead?” he asked rhetorically.

“I feel sorry for him as a friend. I think he must just be given time to rest. We live in this world for a much shorter period than we realise. He really needs a rest. A race is run up to a certain point and there comes a point when you must rest.

“It’s good for him, good for his family and good for the party. We need new ideas. These can only come with leadership renewal. I would like him to rest,” the concerned Msipa emphasised repeatedly.

The former Midlands provincial affairs minister — who fondly refers to Mugabe as muzukuru (Shona for nephew) — said there was no doubt that Mugabe had played his part, which was why he now needed to pass on the baton.

“He joined politics full-time in 1960 in my house, when he was staying with me. I kept him for months. I was the first person to know that he had made a decision not to go back to Ghana where he was a teacher, after he had come back for a holiday and not for politics.

“I kept him for several months and people got to know him and invited him to speak about life in a free country, as Ghana had just become free. Because of his oratory abilities, he attracted the attention of people and he then asked if he could join politics,” Msipa reminisced.

He challenged some Zanu PF hardliners who were advocating for the nonagenarian’s further stay in power to be “human and stop punishing” him.

“We should all feel sorry for him. We are punishing him. Those who are saying he should continue, we don’t seem to care about him. I know some people want him to stay for their own protection.

“I also know some of them feel he is protecting them. He gave them certain positions and so they are afraid that if he goes they will lose those positions. It’s unfair for us to punish a man for all this time. Let him sit back and watch. It’s very important after all that hard work,” Msipa said.

The veteran politician said if he was to get an opportunity to talk to Mugabe, he would convince him to take a rest immediately.

“If it was to become possible for me to meet him I would convince him to rest. I am talking about retiring. I am saying he has worked so hard, so much that he needs to rest now.

“There will be no other time except now. He can’t rest after death of course. They call that rest in peace, but I don’t know what that means,” he added.

Msipa further advised the 92-year-old to take a leaf from him and retire from active politics on his terms.

“As you can see, I am resting and I know what I’m talking about and what he is missing that. I am enjoying myself, for the first time in my life. I can for a change do what I like.

“I can wake up at any time, I can decide to spend the day asleep, I can decide to visit my children, and I have no one to report to. Imagine for Mugabe, putting on a tie, having endless appointments at his age,” he said.

Msipa claimed that just before he left active politics he had asked Mugabe to retire, an offer that was turned down.

“I went to see Mugabe with my two sons where I told him to retire. He told me that in politics you don’t retire, but that you rather die there. That’s his philosophy.

“So in a way he seems to be enjoying the position, but he must also think of rest, because he is punishing himself physically. We are all human beings and the fire in us burns out and you can’t go on trying to keep putting on some light when it’s burning out,” he said.

Asked what kind of a person Mugabe was at a personal level, Msipa described the nonagenarian as a “difficult” character to understand.

“He is in a way difficult to understand. He can be very charming but also he can be repellent and very cruel. He can be very charming and the next moment he can do things that you cannot believe he can do.

“For instance, when Murambatsvina (operation clean up) started, I phoned him because I thought that was uncharacteristic of him, but when he has decided that this man is my enemy, he will do everything to crush you.

“That is his problem, there are no two ways about it. So in short, he can be very cruel if you stand in his way because he wants things to be done in his way,” he said.

Msipa further noted that Mugabe was the type of leader who would also often indicate right and then turn left.

“There are times when he says one thing and he does another. Listen to what he was saying about our independence a year ago. He says it makes us all equal, no one is greater than another and so on, but in practice does he practice that? So I have a problem there.”

Comments (22)

VaMsipa Madyira madziyihwa

Colonel - 8 April 2016

To be fair, after all, Mugabe has been a very big failure to say the least. If an individual can succeed in protecting himself at all costs, using citizens' and taxpayers' resources it does not make him a success, he must really feel bad inside to think that Zim was once a great nation but now he has reduced it to a very poor country that does not even have a currency of its own. I know some people will comment trying to justify why they think Mugabe has done well but to be fair and honest Mugabe is just a loser who's now enslaved by the want of power. The old man cannot even walk but just won't retire, Grace marufu I think is the one behind all this. If more and more people could come out like Msipa I think he may feel obliged to retire. Zvakaoma akomana.

misty - 8 April 2016

@colonel,kudziyirwa neikovo ,ndimi vamwe vacho vari kurehwa kuti you are abusing the old man.Let him rest,we need fresh ideas and not a country full of thieves and very corrupt leaders who are taking advantage of a frail and cruel leader '

mukanya - 8 April 2016

Msipa has tried but will never convince Mugabe to retire. Mugabe made his mind a long time ago that he will die in power and in state house. Mugabe now sees ED, Chiwenga, Securocrats and selected War Vets as enemies who should be destroyed. The meeting with War Vets was futile and as planned changed nothing. Mugabe is committed to his Grace/G40 project. Nobody will change his mind! Mugabe now sees War Vets as a spent force and is now focused on unleashing a new force of young and energetic Youth in place of the exhausted and old War Veterans. The old man is clever and always ahead of his opponents.

Bobby - 8 April 2016

Mugabe does not listen to anyone only his wife talking to him is like talking to boulders . Typical of pure and fully blown dictactor .In his head he thinks he owns us we are nothing but his property and has right to do as he pleases . Msipa has tried but the person he is talking to is cheek and swallow minded .This is the person who has 12 degrees and still lacks common sense simply one in that matter .

Diibulaanyika - 8 April 2016

“I went to see Mugabe with my two sons where I told him to retire. He told me that in politics you don't retire, but that you rather die there. That's his philosophy. The above says it all about Mugabe. We were so unfortunate to have him as a country leader, when one has such attitude. What he implies is that a politician is one who necessarily can have skeletons in the cardboard. Retiring means someone coming to discover the skeletons and open pondora's box. Hence 'you would rather die in politics'. Zimbabwe is very very unlucky to have hell under heaven.

Danai Pazvagozha - 8 April 2016

Viola,viola weee uripiko.

bob - 8 April 2016

I first met Comrade Msipa in the 70's at the ZAPU office on First Street and I believe , he was then Secretary for ZAPU. Comrade Msipa was helping young Zimbabweans to apply for scholarships to study abroad. Many youths from Highfields, Mbare and other local townships used to go by his office for help. The one thing I noticed was that in all his dealings he never asked your party loyalty or tribal lineage and only cared that you are a young Zimbabwean that needed help and he was there to assist. The UANC office near Amato was also helping youths but if you did not know someone to refer you there you would not succeed. I have great respect for Comrade Msipa and sincerely believe he has always had the interest of the country at heart. I take my hat off for a true elder statesman in Zimbabwe and many will benefit from his knowledge and wisdom gained over the years.

Order - 8 April 2016

the maths is simple; retire gracefully or continue unashamedly! that it what separates the two man.

SaManyika Chaiye - 8 April 2016

Yah guest he has manage the position for long he must rest because to tell the truth he destroy Zim in every way . Industries are shut down , they is no money .What actually do they have ,they are falling due to him

blessiz - 8 April 2016

“I feel sorry for him as a friend. I think he must just be given time to rest." This is what we are saying here and on socila media. Instead of listening he is hiring the Chinese at our cost to gag us. Pfungwa dzake dzava hardened too much because of age. Thas why he is not flexible.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 8 April 2016

“I feel sorry for him as a friend. I think he must just be given time to rest." This is what we are saying here and on socila media. Instead of listening he is hiring the Chinese at our cost to gag us. Pfungwa dzake dzava hardened too much because of age. Thas why he is not flexible.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 8 April 2016

Does Mugabe care about an opinion saying time to rest. In his twisted mind, only him is qualified to lead Zimbabwe. When did Mugabe last talk about growing the economy or talk about an inclusive nation ? He Mugabe does not even pretend to fight corruption . All he talks about is his ZANU(PF). Just look at other countries around. You do not see people who have been in cabinet for 36 years.

Tafadzwa - 9 April 2016

'i went to see mugabe with my two sons where i asked him to retire',only a idiot would take that statement seriously,why did he go with his two sons?cde msipa went to line a deal for his wellknown tenderprenuring sons,and now comes out claiming it was about asking HE to retire,he came out of the meeting having secured schweppes and coal mining concessions for his family,only the gullible will believe msipa,tomorrow he will be claiming the daily news misqouted him,cde president is a rare breed cde msipa,he can handle a punishing schedule at his age and beyond and unlike you who is singing to the whole world that you assisted him with accommodation,cde mugabe has the humility not to go around naming all the people he has assisted in his life,your family msipa being one of the biggest beneficiaries in empowerment deals and your sons also abusing your proximity to him to skirt legal issue and avoid litigation,you may do everyone a favour by shutting up

truth - 9 April 2016

Msipa and Mugabe are relatives so it is true he told Mugabe all these things all sane pple can believe him . He has been says so many times but the person he is talking to is dull lacks common sense very frail and blood thirsty

Diibulaanyika - 9 April 2016

Mmmm.@truth .yakora muto chikomana.wen r we going to stop fighting in zanu?Dnt yu think maybe wen mudhara retires?wht is the cause of these ugly fights.?Deals?and the economy?wen do we fight for the economy or are we fighting the economy.Do we need to hire an expatriate zanu leader who has no sides n pple wil listern?the teacher walks into noisy class n say shhhh,students turn their heads to see who it is bt then carryon making noise.@truth ,or do we give in n let other parties carry the flag while we throttle each other till we r organised .my son ,who turns ,50 in December has only known me as a mother in zanu.fighting.so again what can stop fights in zanu

viola gwena - 9 April 2016

For his age to continue ruling ...it's ridiculous! People have suffered long enough. Sovereignty with much suffering is useless. Only a few enjoy life. The economy has crumbled. ..he will never listen to anyone. He's vindictive & greedy.

Badrac - 9 April 2016

@truth,well said,everyone knows his family are big in midlands goldmining

jojo - 9 April 2016

Mugabe must just rest Msipa has said it , he feel sorry for him, whats wrong with that , people you make things difficulty , this old man is being used by thugs and thieves in his party.If he is a good leader and a good man like what they claim so why is he doing this to the people of Zimbabwe, we voted him out and he knows that we don't need him anymore. Its good for the people and for him to rest.In our culture can you go to the field with a granny of his age no, you will be abusing him so they say.MUGABE IS NOW A LIABILITY.ICHO

Mudhara - 9 April 2016

What Msipa says makes sense but he is one of the beneficiaries of the Mugabe regime. Why didn't he say all these things when he was waiting to be appointed to cabinet or governorship? No, he wanted to benefit from the rort. Mugabe should have gone ages ago not because of age but because of his incompetence.

Inyika - 9 April 2016

I am sick and tired of hearing of what Msipa says about his old friend ( or is relative) Mugabe. If he can confidentially talk to him why then does he invite the Daily News to tell us the public about what he (Msipa) thinks Bob should do ? Unonyepa iwe mudhara Msipa. This is not typical of people who originate from Shabani. Wavakurasika papi nhaiwe mudhara. Wavakutamba kunzungu nekunyimo. When you visit your sitshomele Bob is bisness as usual. To the Daily News is another thing - maybe for some few coins os silver. Zvawanga wachembera uri clean wani !

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 9 April 2016

Saka kana achiti anoda kufirapo regai afirepo no one is punishing him anozvida time will tell Some of us are for Jesus zvemidzimu iri kutonga takasiya kare

Tyler - 13 April 2016

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