PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday taunted his political nemesis MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai over his calls for security sector reforms during his tenure as Prime Minister in the inclusive government.
JOHN NYASHANU,POLITICAL EDITOR
Mugabe, who is battling to halt an economic slide after securing the Zanu PF July 31 win, also demanded that his party MPs deliver on electoral promises.
Speaking at the burial of Zimbabwe’s Defence Attaché’ to China, Brigadier General Misheck Tanyanyiwa, Mugabe said failure was not an option as Zimbabwe’s enemies were waiting in the wings.
Tanyanyiwa, whose remains were interred at the national shrine in Harare yesterday, died in Beijing last Tuesday.
“The people voted for you so that you could fight for them. Not that you should be more important than them. Fight for their rights, fight sanctions . . . Once beaten twice shy. Zanu PF cannot afford at all to sit back and relax nowthat the July 31 harmonised elections have ushered Zanu PF back into the driving seat. The party’s pledges to the electorate must be fulfilled and now is the time. You must remain a humble beggar,” he charged.
Pressure is mounting on Zanu PF to honour its electoral pledges to ease a financial crunch aggravated by Mugabe’s continued hold on power. The party, which will convene its 14th National People’s Conference in Chinhoyi this week, promised to indigenise the economy in a manner that will create two million jobs and wealth for the generality of Zimbabweans.
The country currently has one of the world’s highest unemployment rates, estimated to be hovering above 80%.
Turning to ex-premier, Mugabe said: “People like Tsvangirai would say they want change in the security sector. What do they know about such a crucial sector? That was never going to happen and it will not happen. We should remain ever vigilant because the enemy will try to come back in many guises, even in the form of puppet political parties, created in the name of democracy to deceive the world about their real intentions.”
Security sector reforms was one of MDC-T’s major demands in the Global Political Agreement as the party, together with MDC led by Welshman Ncube, argued that security chiefs were biased towards Zanu PF against their mandates.
Mugabe also watered down any prospects of revisiting the indigenization policy, maintaining that the 51-49% shareholding structure in favour of locals would remain in place.
“Resources are ours and should not be exploited by others. We will invite our friends provided they come to assist us not exploit us. There is no exception. I have heard others preaching otherwise, but that is not going to happen,” he said.
Deputy Finance Minister Samuel Undenge recently hinted that Zimbabwe could amend its indigenisation law to provide flexible terms on capital projects, particularly those in energy and water sectors, in a move aimed at attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“On capital projects like energy, which require close to $3 billion to finance, we will bring flexible terms as government with regard to compliance with the indigenisation law,” Undenge told a meeting of business executives.
Zimbabwe requires at least $3billion to finance the rehabilitation and construction of power stations, an amount which many believe cannot be sourced locally.
A huge external debt of close to $11 billion has also worsened the situation as the country struggles to access funding from multilateral institutions.