Liberation war leaders must step aside: Gumbo

HARARE - Liberation war leaders should step aside without delay and allow new leadership of Zimbabwe whose political and economic implosion is worsening, liberation war icon Rugare Gumbo (pictured) has said.

Gumbo, who is now an elder in the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) having been kicked out of Zanu PF in 2014 on charges of attempting to topple President Robert Mugabe, said the country’s aging leaders were effectively stealing Zimbabwe’s future by clinging on to power.

“All I am saying is that we have a big problem, especially us nationalists, we are being accused and rightly so, that our problem is we want to cling to power,” Gumbo said during Arthur Mutambara’s book launch in Harare last week. The former Home Affairs minister felt the former liberation fighters were standing in the way of emerging leaders in the mould of the former student leader.

“...I want to state it categorically that is what is our biggest problem in Zimbabwe right now, the issue of power . . . what is happening in Zanu (PF) is also happening where we are . . . we fought for freedom and justice but that is no longer there,” Gumbo said, adding the lust for power had also cascaded into opposition parties.

ZPF ran into headwinds after its leader Joice Mujuru jumped ship to form National People’s Party following irreconcilable differences.

“Our weakness as leaders is that we want power, we want positions, we don’t want to advance ideas that bring about prosperity.

“Someone was talking about G40 and Lacoste, it’s all about power . . . no one is lobbying for the people’s needs.

“Yes, there is command agriculture, but we are seeing what is happening in the provinces, the inputs are getting to people late, some are not getting at all,” Gumbo said.

“So what we are saying is that our generation fought and brought independence but the generation that is going to take this country forward, it’s the young people, so let’s move aside and allow the young people to develop.

“I don’t believe as Rugare Gumbo I can effect any meaningful changes in this country.

“All we can do is to advise but in the process of doing that you are frustrated,” Gumbo said.  

He added that the door was open at ZPF for young people to lead.

“My appeal to you, some of us we are not interested in power, we are not interested in running for elections . . . Some of us don’t believe that we went to war in order to empower other people; we went to war because of the oppressive system.”

Comments (6)

Yes, Comrade Gumbo. The majority of Our Former Freedom Fighters have become redundant, selfish, power hungry aged and ignorant effigies of their former worth. All they are doing now is impede Zimbabwe's advancement. Its so sad that we now have to wait for Mr DEATH to get rid of them for us.

Sekuru Ndoronga - 20 June 2017

For the first time sinc3e he was in grade one Gumbo has said something meaning and i hate to admit, I Agree with Rogare Gumbo

Tafa Mahoso - 20 June 2017

Agreed Mr Gumbo, repeat that at every forum you are accorded. Thats the problem with all so called revolutionary parties that fought colonial systems only to then capture their citizens for personal aggrandisement. If you look at it 7 out of 8 of the so called African Fathers/Liberators went on to become Dictators. The current African leadership is no different either they introduced (3 years back) an AU passport supposedly to benefit citizens but alas guess who were the first and only receipients...Heads of State.

Sinyo - 21 June 2017

Agreed Mr Gumbo, repeat that at every forum you are accorded. Thats the problem with all so called revolutionary parties that fought colonial systems only to then capture their citizens for personal aggrandisement. If you look at it 7 out of 8 of the so called African Fathers/Liberators went on to become Dictators. The current African leadership is no different either they introduced (3 years back) an AU passport supposedly to benefit citizens but alas guess who were the first and only receipients...Heads of State.

Sinyo - 21 June 2017

Why did you not say so while you were still a ZANU PF government minister or when you started People First with Mutasa and Mujuru?Did you not see it then? What has changed Va Gumbo?

Jonso - 21 June 2017

Correct Gumbo thank you!

addmore gudo - 13 July 2017

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