The blame for the destruction of the country’s economy must be placed squarely on the shoulders of President Mugabe and his Zanu PF party, MDC leader Welshman Ncube has said.
Ncube said this on Sunday afternoon while addressing a rally at Mloyi Business Centre in Matobo North.
“Our young people have no jobs. You find young men spending the whole day drinking at bottle stores because they have no jobs,” he said, to thunderous applause. “This country has been destroyed by (President) Mugabe and Zanu PF”.
Ncube said the economy had been destroyed to the extent that even those few people who managed to secure jobs did not earn substantial incomes.
“Those who get the jobs earn peanuts. There is widespread poverty in the country. Even young children will tell you that it is (President) Mugabe who has destroyed this once-vibrant economy,” he said.
Ncube said even the country’s infrastructure such as roads. hospitals and schools had become dilapidated due to mismanagement of the economy.
Hundreds of MDC supporters clad in their traditional green T-shirts from villages around Matobo North attended the rally.
The rally was punctuated by singing and chanting of slogans denouncing Zanu PF.
Ncube said people from Matabeleland who still claim to support Zanu PF were doing it out of “fear”.
“They will tell you that supporting Zanu PF is akin to riding on a hyena,” he said, amid laughter. “But they really want to leave Zanu PF.”
Contacted for comment yesterday, Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo said his party was of the opinion that the economy was in fact picking up.
“The economy is improving. There is a turnaround. We are happy with the improvement in the economy,” he said. “We are surprised that Ncube could say that President Mugabe has destroyed the economy. People can’t blame everything on President Mugabe. Ncube is one of those people who just complain and do nothing.”
Gumbo said the blame should in fact be put on the MDC for calling for “sanctions”. “If Ncube feels that the economy is not doing well, it is because of people like him,” he said.
Ncube said the Wikileaks cables released by the whistleblowing website referring to senior Zanu PF officials in the party who are said to have held meetings with Unites States Embassy staff and declared that they wanted the veteran leader “to quit” had come in handy.
“We did not know that there are some who work with Mugabe who don’t really like him but thanks to WikiLeaks, we now know,” he said, to more laughter from his party’s supporters.
“If you want to know what senior officials in Zanu PF think about Mugabe, just read WikiLeaks.”
Ncube said to turn around the economy, his party had resolved at its congress in March to “become the ruling party by 2015”.
“We intend to keep that promise. If it means going to each and every homestead and each and every village, we will do it.”