Mugabe surrounded by liars, crooks: Mutodi

HARARE - Outspoken Zanu PF provincial executive member for Mashonaland East, Energy Mutodi, says President Robert Mugabe’s advanced age and his seemingly lack of appetite to resolve the succession issue are contributing to the country’s growing civil unrest.

Here he speaks with Senior Assistant Editor Guthrie Munyuki and below are the Excerpts of the interview.

Q: Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe have threatened to crush protesters without promising to look into their grievances; do you think this is the best that you can do?

A: The most important thing is to consider if the protests are lawful in terms of the Constitution. I understand that our Constitution gives citizens the right to demonstrate although it goes on to add that the demonstrations must be peaceful.

In Zimbabwe also public meetings and demonstrations need police clearance. The constitution is the supreme law of the land and Zanu PF must observe it. However, if the protests are turning violent, President Mugabe and his administration are justified in seeking to stop them.

Q: Why is it so difficult for you Zanu PF members to advise your leadership about some of these mistakes you are making, like threatening people with genuine grievances?

A: There is bureaucracy in Zanu PF. There is also red-tape in government that tends to impede economic growth as the Ease of Doing Business in Zimbabwe is compromised. It is hard for any ordinary member in the party to reach out the top leadership.

You will simply be denied the chance to do so. Remember the party is now full of praise singers who tell the president lies everyday and are afraid to be exposed if the president is easily reachable.

People are also fighting to remain in their cabinet posts or to get promotions. The system is such that those in higher positions block potentially better minds and new blood from coming in.

Even where you are elected by the people to get a higher post you will be blocked. People with genuine grievances need not to be threatened.

The party needs to do what is morally right. You cannot promote corruption, breed poverty and unemployment and expect people to be silent.

Do they have another country to go to? Do they have another leadership? They want practical solutions and government must provide those solutions.

Q: In what way does President Robert Mugabe’s unresolved succession issue contribute to the current dissent by angry Zimbabweans?

A: Human beings are different from donkeys and monkeys in the sense that they are anxious about the future.

Currently, the people are overburdened. They see a dark cloud over them. Some are saying we got ourselves into this problem by voting for Zanu PF in the first place and by entrusting the leadership of the party with President Mugabe.

He is not willing to leave office and see how the country can move forward without him at the helm.

He is now advanced in age and naturally getting weaker and weaker to perform the duties of a head of state and government.

That job is enormous, laborious and tremendous and hence requires a young and energetic person to be in place.

This must be making people worried, as they feel cheated and betrayed.

Voting for Zanu PF is the best thing they could do to liberate themselves from the jaws of colonialism in 1980.

They trusted Mugabe as a new leader with fresh ideas and young as he was at the age of 56 could really make their lives better.

While he did not disappoint as he gave the people the land and built schools and universities and allowed blacks to enjoy the rights they could not be given by Smith, President Mugabe has overstayed in office and is no longer the best person to lead in the wake of the new challenges that the country is facing.

Q: Why, in your view, has your party failed to come up with a clear succession plan?

A: A clear succession plan cannot come from a classroom of noisemakers, praise-singers and poor planners.

The on-going economic decadence is a clear testimony that the economy is being mismanaged and it is the people in decision-making positions who are failing the nation.

Economic performance is the fastest way of evaluating leadership because its indicators are quantitative in nature.

A poor economy tells you that political players are making poor political decisions.

We have a politburo full of lame ducks. They go in there to sit and listen what the leader has to say without contributing anything meaningful for the party and for the people.

If they were really at work, succession is one of the things they must have tabled and reasoned around.

They know as long as it remains unresolved there will be no peace.

As a party, we could have used succession as a tool to repel sanctions, replacing President Mugabe with a completely new person who brings a new image to government altogether. In order to be effective and come up with a succession plan, Zanu PF members need to refrain from tribalism and regionalism, the root causes of the on-going factionalism.

Q: You are an avowed VP Mnangagwa’s sympathiser, why do you think he should succeed Mugabe?

A: There are many people in Zanu PF who are potential presidents. Emmerson Mnangagwa is one of them.

Others are Sydney Sekeramayi and Ignatius Chombo. These men are sober and reliable. They are usable for any task and they do it properly.

Honestly speaking, Emmerson Mnangagwa can ensure a smooth transition as he has experience and is acceptable to the key stakeholders who include the President himself, as well as the key foreign powers.

The rationale of seconding him to that post is that he will be able to protect the former head of State from revenge-seeking souls while at the same time attracting the much-needed foreign direct investment. He is a natural choice.

Q: Mnangagwa leads government business, if you say he is the natural choice, why then does the party seem to go against him despite leading government business?

A: It’s all about tribalism and fear of the unknown. Mnangagwa is a trained lawyer and lawyers are known for sticking to the rules.

It’s the corrupt who are attempting to block him. They say he doesn’t have people but in Zanu PF we say no one has people. The people belong to the party and the party is the people.

So if we say Mnangagwa is unelectable we are simply saying Zanu PF is unelectable. 

Q: In your view, is the Zanu PF government capable of meeting the demands of the international community to unlock financial support and investment?

A: The short answer is NO. I am a student of Finance myself at doctoral level. We do not lend money to insolvents and reckless people.

Every dollar invested must have a return and the investment destination must be attractive, offering acceptable risk.

You do not transfer money to someone whose account is already overdrawn. Even if you were to give it away as humanitarian and development aid, you will not do it when the human rights record is in a bad state as by doing so you promote a government that is fighting its own people.

There is need to create a new image. All looters must be flushed out from government. Certain conditions have to be met however, without compromising on our statehood.

Q: Are you not afraid of gifting the opposition with a chance to win the 2018 elections?

A: Currently, no single opposition party is capable of winning elections in Zimbabwe.

Zanu PF has the biggest loyal membership that participates in elections.

The opposition support is youthful and unreliable. Most urban youths do not vote. The opposition parties are also suffering leadership problems making them no better than Zanu PF. Leaders of the most prominent opposition parties are unfit to rule.

Q: As divided as you are, can you mend the economy and return it to its bread basket status which Zanu PF inherited at independence?

A: Every sector of the economy has suffered from poor policies and economic mismanagement and agriculture is not an exception.

This means that winning elections alone is not enough but having the right people in place to steer around the economy is paramount.

We inherited a sound economy from Ian Smith but we have brought it to its knees because we focus on meaningless things and hate each other.

We make irrational decisions and are comfortable with just talk without results.

The leadership must be able to say we made this decision and as a result we grew our economy by so much. Unity, tolerance and regular leadership renewal is the starting point towards progress. 

Q: What options are there for Zanu PF in light of growing civil unrest and ructions within the party itself?

A: We need to go back to the basics. As a corporate manager I am experienced in how teamwork can produce results.

Team members must be fresh and alive. Zanu PF needs to incorporate new knowledge and new blood in its system.

The old must give way for the youths. I have already said the resolution of succession issues is important.

In addition, new investment friendly policies must be employed to end joblessness, poverty and other social problems that are now forcing people to be in the streets.


Comments (9)

This is a well balanced assessment from a Phd student not some half backed analysis we are fed daily by some pretending scholars. If only someone can take heed of the sound advice given then Zimbabwe will never be the same.

Aluta Continua - 12 September 2016

It's quite a while since we heard something sensible from a Zanu PF activist. Daily News, please verify if this guy is truly Zanu PF?

Mazano Rewayi - 12 September 2016

A lot of sense from this interview.However for this guy to say that ZANU PF has more support is misguided.ZANU PF is known for rigging elections.However the guy is correct in pointing out that the urban,youthful electorate are not interested in voting.Most of them don't even care about whether their names are on the voters roll or not.It is the duty of political parties to conscientise people on this crucial technicality.

Democrat - 12 September 2016

Well spoken and courageous. Not so many Zanu PF people can say what he said. But tell you what, a lot of them think along those lines but are cowards. They cannot speak out. They would rather be safe. Wait until nature takes its effects on Mugabe, as it will also with us when our turn comes. Tichazvirira. People will be free to talk for he will have gone to the Father. Ko iwo ma books! Tichaverenga nharoondo dzayiitika dzavayitya kutaura.

Icho - 12 September 2016

Yes that is sensible talk but biased in believing that Zanu PF is popular but notorious. Intimidation and bullying the populace can not be equated to popularity. What are Zanu PF achievements? Do you call, Zanu PF parceling out -productive land to waste- to its members, success and national achievement? Zanu PF is a distinctive failed mafia mob. You are one of the cheap mobsters. What a shame!

Mbareboy - 12 September 2016

Good assessment but did you just say Chombo is reliable and leadership material? The number one looter in chief cannot be. Secondly no govt the world over was reelected when there is 50% unemployment let alone 95%. ZANU exists because of rigging. Results are manufactured at ZEC. Implement reforms and let us all vote freely and see who wins. Simple

Moe Syslack - 13 September 2016

I lost interest when this chap started talking about what RGM "gave" to people, land, education etc. Well, he "gave" what didn't belong to him. Education is paid for by taxes, he simply facilitated the process. The quality of this education has fallen so badly that Standard 6 school leavers in Rhodesia may have better reasoning than current university graduates. Energy, RGM failed full-stop.

Sagitarr - 13 September 2016

good view points. Zanu PF needs new blood for sure

Ndonga - 13 September 2016

Sensible and ???? whether this person is truly ZANU PF. But he missed on Chombo because Chombo is useless and too corrupt. Sekeramayi hopeless. Probably Mnangagwa is only needed for the transition period. Otherwise we don't want anyone above 60 years to lead our future Zimbabwe after Mugabe

alec mawire - 13 September 2016

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