Let's take a leaf from Msipa

HARARE - The death of veteran nationalist Cephas Msipa has robbed the nation of a political giant whose candid comments on contemporary Zimbabwean politics knew no boundaries.

Msipa rose above party politics to be a father figure, something hangers-on in the ruling party, including President Robert Mugabe, are certainly missing.

Here was a hero whose lamentations over a revolution that went off rails touched many.

Mugabe and his ministers — some of whom have been caught in an embarrassing web of corruption — must pluck a few nuggets of wisdom from this true humble national hero who was loved by many, including those in the opposition.

Msipa despised corruption and greed. He was a man of principle who willingly left politics and the trappings that come with high office.

He chose to live a modest life in Gweru where he was confronted with grinding poverty, forcing him to tell truth to power.

What bled his heart most was the level of poverty that confronted him whenever he travelled in Zimbabwe, the land he loved to call “a land of milk and honey”.

In so many ways, on different platforms, Msipa spoke without fear to Mugabe about the levels of poverty, factionalism and the need for the nonagenarian leader to step down.

If those in Zanu PF could take a leaf from a life so well lived then this is the chance, to live simply with the people, succour the poor and tirelessly endeavour to uplift the lives of penury-weary Zimbabweans.

Sadly, the ever-grandstanding Zanu PF politicians would rather loot Zimbabwe dry, oblivious of the devastating consequences of their acts, whether by commission or omission.

The greedy in Zanu PF must realise that true heroism is simple and encapsulated by people like Msipa.

We hope Zanu PF will not monopolise the funeral of a person who had become a constant critic.

Msipa’s life was well lived and thus he is universally considered a national hero. Even though he played a critical role in the signing of the 1987 Unity Accord, he refused to blow his own trumpet.

He preached tolerance and engagement. One of his wishes was for national dialogue involving every Zimbabwean to salvage the country from certain ruin.

Msipa showed all and sundry that there is life after politics and we would like to urge Mugabe and his band of recycled ministers to pass on the baton to younger persons.

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