LITTLE-KNOWN opposition Zimbabwe Empowerment Movement (ZEM) leader Garikai Sithole has accused Cabinet ministers of abusing President Robert Mugabe’s advanced age to plunder national resources, knowing that the 91-year-old Zanu PF leader would not bring them to book.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
Sithole, a retired army captain and son of the late Zanu (Ndonga) leader, Ndabaningi Sithole, told NewsDay yesterday that Mugabe was being used by people around him for their selfish ends.
“Some of those ministers showering him with praises are just thieves and crooks. It is unfortunate Mugabe is now very old and cannot realise that. But look at what the country has come to now,” he said.
Sithole said his late father had a vision for Zimbabwe and it is that vision that he has come to fulfil as a young leader.
“The year 2018 is around the corner and Zimbabweans have suffered enough. We know of Gukurahundi and we also had Operation Murambatsvina, but, now we have the demolitions of houses going on. This is not what leadership is all about,” he said.
“The issue of demolitions is the work of Zanu PF ministers who are land barons. How on earth can someone be left building a house worth thousands of dollars and only to be demolished like that? Zanu PF is a heartless party with heartless people.
“Everything is upside down and the nation is in turmoil. No jobs at all and students are suffering out there. I have now come up with a family scholarship that will assist the vulnerable children of Zimbabwe to attend universities outside the country. But, there are some people who are jealous of my initiative and fear that I am gaining political mileage and are now throwing spanners in this scholarship programme,” he said.
Sithole said the state of the nation was embarrassing.
“It is hopelessness everywhere, lack of pride, apathy and poverty are our lot. But my party takes note that ours is a young nation — born of a struggle that still dominates the minds of those in power today. I understand where they are coming from, but we cannot wait,” he explained.
“This trajectory must be significantly different from the past and we must create it now. It must be based on a new philosophy of equity, liberty and justice. We cannot afford another dictatorship.”
Sithole said Zanu PF’s controversial land reform and indigenisation programmes were the major causes of Zimbabwe’s downfall.