PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has threatened to punish urban dwellers, especially those in Harare and Bulawayo for ditching him and his party in favour of MDC-T in the just-ended harmonised elections.
REPORT BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
He said the city dwellers should not come to his government, but go to Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T for service delivery, jobs and all else they may need.
“People from Harare and Bulawayo, to vote for the MDC-T, what do you admire in that party? Now, go and get from the MDC-T what you were promised during the elections,” Mugabe said, describing MDC-T leaders as ignoramuses.
Mugabe, who was last Thursday sworn-in as President for an eighth term, was addressing thousands of people attending the burial of Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai at the National Heroes’ Acre yesterday.
Zanu PF lost all the 12 contested parliamentary seats in Bulawayo and got only six out of the 28 available in Harare. The party won majority seats in all other major cities and the rest of the country — garnering over two-thirds parliamentary majority while Mugabe beat Tsvangirai resoundingly in the presidential poll.
“People in 2008 voted for them, not knowing that such level of ignorance cannot run this country,” Mugabe said. “But today, people have realised that they (MDC-T) do not have life and direction and voted for Zanu PF. During the inclusive government, it required a lot of patience to work with them. We had very diverse views and it was difficult to negotiate with them because they are very ignorant.”
He added: “You are better off working with an ignorant person who is aware of his ignorance — a person who accepts that he is ignorant. But if you are ignorant of your ignorance, it is a challenge. If you think ignorance is being clever then you have a serious problem.”
Mugabe’s utterances come hardly three days after he delivered a somewhat reconciliatory speech in which he commended Tsvangirai and MDC leader Welshman Ncube for shelving personal differences and offering to enter into a coalition government with Zanu PF over the past four-and-half years.
Soon after he was sworn-in for a fresh five-year mandate last Thursday, Mugabe also pledged to resolve the water crisis in cities, particularly Bulawayo and Harare as well as reviving industry and improving infrastructure.
Referring to Tsvangirai’s court challenge and his attack on the judiciary, Mugabe said:. “This is what my mother used to call being dull.”
He said it was curious that Tsvangirai would expect to be entertained by the same judiciary that he had just called names.
At one of his campaign rallies in the run-up to the July 31 polls, Mugabe said he would suffer heart failure if Harare and Bulawayo ditched him again.
“Are we going to vote? Yes, but how are you going to vote? Harare, Harare, Harare, Bulawayo, Bulawayo, our big cities. Have we forgotten 2008? Have we left behind 2008? I will be shocked. I will have heart failure if I hear Harare votes for MDC, a party with councillors who have caused trouble,” Mugabe said then.